So much for that “healthy conversation.” Twitter’s rules on abusive behavior and hate speech apparently exclude any form of anti-Semitism.
Arsen Ostrovsky, executive director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress, reported a tweet directed at him which should have fallen under abusive behavior. But Twitter determined otherwise. In an email, Twitter Support informed Ostrovsky that the tweet, which called for the “stoning of the Jews,” “is not in violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.”
The account in question, a recent one that was set up in March 2019, allegedly belongs to a Dr. Maulana Jalil Ad Din Rehman, who identifies as the “Chairman of All India Madrasa of Science” and an “Islamic Scholar.” While this account has only tweeted a handful of times, it has many anti-Semitic comments. One reply made by this account states: “Jews are not human they are pigs.”
Another comment made on the account states that “Allah will burn women for not wearing hijabs.” The user seems to be a strong proponent of sharia law, based on some of his tweets. Another disturbing tweet further down reads, “even i have cured many ex muslims 1:- by depriving them of oxygen 2:- extracting their nails from fingers. 3:- by starving them.”
It also has homophobic comments, which Twitter has expressed interest in censoring in the past. One tweet calls for homosexual people to be thrown from the rooftops.
And yet Twitter found this account, “not in violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.” Even if this account is protected by the fact that it is in another country, and the user is Muslim, he still is calling for violence to be done. In the light of what happened in New Zealand, social media companies have gone after certain types of violent speech. Apparently, not others.
But this lines up with Twitter’s stance on anti-Semitism in general. Calls to “destroy Israel” were still on the platform from American users. And Rev. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam is allowed to post videos where he refers to Jewish people as “termites.” Twitter took away Farrakhan’s blue check mark, but has not taken down his tweets.