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Twitter Exec Dodges Question on why Iran’s Genocidal Calls for Death Are Permitted on Platform

A top Twitter executive who took part in a Knesset hearing on Wednesday declined to say why her company had not taken action against genocidal incitement by Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Appearing virtually at the hearing on social media antisemitism, the head of Twitter Policy for the Nordics and Israel, Ylwa Petterson, faced questions on the issue of antisemitism.

She was asked by international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky why the company had never censured Khamenei for his numerous calls for the elimination of Israel, home to millions of Jews. Petterson replied, “So, we have an approach to world leaders that presently say that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on military-economic issues are generally not in violation of our Twitter rules.”

Blue and White MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who had convened the hearing, chimed in, “Calling for genocide on Twitter is ok?”

Petterson dodged the question, saying, “So, if a world leader violates our rules, but there is an interest in keeping it on the server, we may place a note to provide some more context about the violation that allows people to click through if they wish to see that type of content.”

Cotler-Wunsh characterized the lack of action against Khamenei a “double standard.” During the hearing, she also urged Twitter to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism as a guideline.

The hearing came a day after the end of a 48-hour boycott of Twitter by Jewish groups and their allies, after the platform was slow to take action against an antisemitic rant by British rapper Wiley.

The entire exchange can be viewed below.