Berger says Twit­ter was too slow to act over hate

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

BRI­TAIN’S YOUNGEST Jewish MP has de­scribed how Twit­ter’s re­sponse to an or­ches­trated cam­paign of an­ti­semitism against her on its site was “frus­trat­ingly slow”.

Speak­ing in depth pub­licly for the first time about the abuse she suf­fered on so­cial me­dia a year ago, Lu­ciana Berger re­vealed she was still re­ceiv­ing an­ti­semitic tweets.

At the height of last year’s cam­paign, po­lice cal­cu­lated that Labour’s Liver­pool Wavertree MP was sub­jected to 2,500 abu­sive mes­sages in three days. Ms Berger said the tweets were “in­cred­i­bly abu­sive, they were threat­en­ing, they were di s t r e s s i ng. They in­cluded im­ages of my f a c e s u p e r - i mposed o n con­cen­tra­tion camp vic­tims.”

Lu­ciana Berger

The po­lice re­sponse had been ham­pered by an ini­tial re­luc­tance to co-op­er­ate from so­cial me­dia sites, she said.

The on­line pay­ment site PayPal did stop peo­ple send­ing do­na­tions to the neo-Nazi web­site based in the United States that was or­ches­trat­ing the hate cam­paign. Ms Berger said: “It did feel that progress was frus­trat­ingly slow. Twit­ter asked me to re­port any abu­sive tweets us­ing what was then quite an oner­ous on­line sys­tem which took a few min­utes to re­port ev­ery tweet.”

A l t h o u g h T w i t t e r h a d taken steps in re­cent months t o i mpr o v e its re­port­ing mech­a­nisms, it wasstil­lun­able to block racist im­ages and was se­lec­tive about the con­text of of­fen­sive words, the 3 4 - y e a r - o l d said.

S h e w a s speak­ing in Par­lia­ment on Tues­day.


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