By J. Levitt
Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday demanded that social media platform Twitter do more to stem anti-Semitic hate from supporters of Hamas, afteronline magazine BuzzFeed reported on Sunday how the #HitlerWasRight hashtag was gaining widespread usage on the site.
“Twitter needs to articulate a coherent policy in dealing with hate and terrorism and live up to those standards,” SWC dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told The Algemeiner. “The freedom of speech fig leaf doesn’t cover such hatred in the private domain.”
Cooper said that as part of the SWC’s Digital Terrorism and Hate Project, the organization grades social networking platforms for their responsiveness in dealing with digital terrorism and hate.
“Facebook usually earns A-, YouTube C,” Cooper said. “Last year, after meeting with senior Twitter officials in San Francisco, we upgraded Twitter to a D-. Previously it received an F.”
Cooper said SWC is scheduled to meet Twitter executives again later this month. But that “even without this pornographic anti-Semitic hate, Twitter was well on its way to another F as it remains the social networking platform of choice of terrorists and their supporters around the world.”
On Sunday, BuzzFeed highlighted examples of hate speech from supporters of Hamas’s ongoing rocket barrage against Israel who were featuring the #HitlerWasRight meme, supporting the idea that Jews should be exterminated, with Hamas, as a force for good, picking up where Hitler’s “final solution” to exterminate the Jewish people left off.
Some Palestinian supporters even objected to the association.
Yasmeen Serhan, a student at the University of Southern California and editor of its Daily Trojannewspaper, wrote: “To all the a**holes using the #HitlerWasRight hashtag & associating it with Palestinian solidarity, please stop. We don’t want your bigotry.”
Israel’s supporters also referenced the hashtag, but to contradict its intended meaning.
Julie Lenarz, founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Intervention Centre, known as @MsIntervention on Twitter, wrote on Sunday: “Today started with #HitlerWasRight trending + ended with 100s trapped in Paris synagogue cause of hate mob. But anti-Semitism doesn’t exist.”
Early on Monday she said: “My contribution to #HitlerWasRight trend: yes he was… to shoot himself in the head.”