Rights group presses Twitter on 'hate speech'

May 08, 2013
A Nazi-hunting group urged Twitter and other social media Wednesday to step up efforts to remove online "hate speech," citing a surge in incitement to attacks like the recent Boston bombings.

A Nazi-hunting group urged Twitter and other social media Wednesday to step up efforts to remove online "hate speech," citing a surge in incitement to attacks like the recent Boston bombings.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said has spawned nearly 20,000 hash tags and handles this year that are linked to terrorism and extremism, up 30 percent in the past year.

"If we want to make it tougher for the terrorists to recruit, we need (actions by) Facebook, , Twitter and YouTube," said Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, at a Capitol Hill briefing.

"The proliferation of terrorism tutorials, and the abuse of social media and online forums by extremists, portend that future 'lone wolf' attacks here and abroad are inevitable."

Cooper said that Facebook has been far more active in "scrubbing" pages which appear to incite hate and violence, and has been open to feedback from his group, But he said Twitter has refused to even discuss the matter.

"We have been unsuccessful in even getting an answer from Twitter" about its efforts, Cooper said.

"The bad guys know how to use Facebook and Twitter," he said, to recruit and promote violence.

The organization gave a rating of A-minus for taking "tremendous steps to identify and eliminate digital prejudice and hate on their site."

It gave a grade of C-minus, saying the Google-owned allows many tutorials used by attackers to remain online.

Twitter was given a grade of F by the center, which said "You can post anything you want without being screened or removed."

Twitter did not respond to an AFP request for comment. The messaging platform's terms of service state that Twitter is not responsible for content posted, but that users "may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others."

The center, which was founded in 1977 by Nazi hunter Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, published the data in its 15th annual report on digital hate and terrorism.

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Web 'prime tool' for hate groups: Wiesenthal Center

May 14, 2009

Extremist groups have made the Web their "prime tool" to spread hate and the number of online bigots on Facebook is growing faster than efforts to remove them, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Wednesday.

After lawsuit threat, Twitter to pull racist posts

Oct 19, 2012

(AP)—Twitter agreed to pull racist and anti-Semitic tweets under a pair of French hash tags after a Jewish group threatened to sue the social network for running afoul of national laws against hate speech, ...

Facebook to use Twitter hashtag style

Mar 14, 2013

Facebook is preparing to take on Twitter by adopting the messaging service's iconic hashtag symbol, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Twitter tops 200 million active users

Dec 18, 2012

Twitter said Tuesday the number of active users of the service has topped 200 million, in a sign of the sizzling growth of the messaging platform.

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

11 hours ago

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

17 hours ago

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

21 hours ago

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...