Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Jewish Groups Claim Twitter Deemed Star of David ‘Hateful Image’


The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), a British watchdog group, alleged in a July 20 statement that Twitter has been suspending accounts for having a Star of David in their profile pictures, a claim that Twitter has denied.

According to the CAA, several Twitter users with Stars of David in their profile pictures have informed them that Twitter locked their accounts under the rationale they were “posting hateful imagery. You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header. As a result, we have locked your account.”

“It is deplorable enough that Twitter consistently fails to act against antisemitism on its platform, but now it is taking action against Jews for the simple crime of showing pride in their identity by displaying a Star of David,” Stephen Silverman, CAA’s director of investigations and enforcement, said in a statement. “It never fails to astound just how low Twitter is prepared to go.”

He added: “So often social media companies claim that they lack the resources to tackle hate on their platforms, but Twitter has put the lie to that claim by demonstrating that it does have the resources, but chooses to target the benign symbol of a victimized minority instead of the countless racists who use its platform with impunity. Twitter must immediately restore these accounts, apologize to the owners, and pledge finally to take robust action against the antisemites whom it has enabled for so long.”

Twitter’s Global Policy team issued a series of tweets explaining that the accounts in question had photos juxtaposed with yellow Star of David badges. Such yellow Star of David badges does constitute as hateful imagery since they reference the Holocaust but Stars of David do not, according to the tweets.

We want to clarify some questions about hateful imagery on Twitter. We categorically do not consider the Star of David as a hateful symbol or hateful image. We have for some time seen the ‘yellow star’ or ‘yellow badge’ symbol being used by those seeking to target Jewish people.— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) July 22, 2020

However, Silverman argued that only one of the accounts in question featured a yellow badge and the account was doing so as “a means of reclaiming the yellow stars used by the Nazis. This is precisely the kind of inept response to antisemitism that we have come to expect from Twitter, which just last week tried to convince us that the viral antisemitic #JewishPrivilege hashtag was legitimate.

“We would happily help Twitter, but they largely ignore us when we approach them, which we take as a reflection of their inconsistency in addressing this,” he added. “It seems that Twitter prefers to go after Jewish users who proudly display their identity but not after antisemitic users who unabashedly promote anti-Jewish vitriol.”