Wednesday 09 August 2017

Satirist sprays hate tweets outside Twitter HQ

Berlin-based satirist Shahak Shapira was so fed up of reporting hate tweets to Twitter that he sprayed some of them outside their Germany office.

Here's Shapira's video, documenting how he did it, as well as some of the German and English-language tweets which he reported.

In over 300 attempts to report hateful content to Twitter, the company responded just nine times. Shapira's view was: "...so I thought: OK, if Twitter forces me to see those things, then they'll have to see them too. These statements I reported weren't just plain insults or jokes, but absolutely serious threats of violence, homophobia, xenophobia, or Holocaust denial." The video comes with the hashtag #heytwitter, which others have taken to using in order to suppor Shapira's work.

If Twitter is slow to respond to hate speech, and it increasingly appears to have a problem in this area, then the company had better get a move on. The German parliament has approved a bill to fine companies up to €50m if they don't deal with the issue.

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