Twitter has proven that it stands by anti-Semitic figures, such as Rev. Louis Farrakhan, by allowing them to stay while suspending other accounts.
So it should come as no surprise that the trending algorithms marked the phrase “kill all Jews” as a rising topic on November 2. The outcry about the trend was so bad that Twitter felt compelled to apologize for it, saying, “This phrase should not have appeared in trends, and we’re sorry for this mistake.” The topic was removed on the same day.
Twitter also included some information about how it manipulates the trending topics: “At times we do prevent certain content from trending and we have now done so with this trend. This was trending as a result of coverage and horrified reactions to the vandalism against a synagogue in New York. Regardless, it should not have appeared as a trend.”
According to BuzzFeed, “Kill all Jews” was not a part of the vandalism on the Brooklyn synagogue, but “because of inaccurate news coverage alleging that it was, it became the driver of conversation on Twitter.” However, given that there was a shooting that killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 29, the incident is very poorly timed.
Twitter has taken many steps to bring what it calls “healthy conversation” to its platform. The permanent ban of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as well as the frequent suspension of many other individuals who are actually conservative, were part of this strategy this concept. Yet somehow, “kill all Jews” was overlooked.
But Twitter is not usually interested in monitoring anti-Semitic content on its platform. Rev. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, still has a platform where he refers to Jewish people as “termites” in videos. While Facebook took down Farrakhan’s offending posts, Twitter did not even refer to them as “violations,” instead saying that its policies on dehumanizing language had not been put into effect yet.