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Twitter insufficiently anti-antisemitic, alleges German lawsuit

The company did not remove anti-Jewish, including Holocaust-denying, content, say the plaintiffs.

A pro-Israel rally in Berlin, May 20, 2021. Photo by Orit Arfa.
A pro-Israel rally in Berlin, May 20, 2021. Photo by Orit Arfa.

A lawsuit filed in Germany, where Holocaust denial is illegal, accuses Twitter of failing to sufficiently police antisemitic tweets.

The suit, which the European Union of Jewish Students and nonprofit HateAid filed jointly in a regional Berlin court, alleges that Twitter did not delete six antisemitic posts and refused to delete a tweet that denied the Holocaust.

“Twitter has betrayed our trust,” said Avital Grinberg, president of the Jewish student group.

The plaintiffs drew on a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which suggests social-media companies fail to remove nearly 85% of antisemitic posts brought to their attention, per TechCrunch.

“We are concerned about Twitter’s failure to enforce its terms of service on Holocaust denial and incitement,” B’nai B’rith International wrote of the suit on Twitter.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has not commented on the lawsuit. In the past, he has lauded what he said was a reduction of the reach of hate speech on Twitter.

Stateside, fewer than half of U.S. adults can answer multiple-choice questions correctly about how many Jews the Nazis murdered or how Adolf Hitler came to power, according to 2020 Pew Research Center data. Just 45% of respondents knew that 6 million Jews were murdered—with 14% believing the number was 3 million or less—and only 43% knew Hitler was elected democratically.

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