We Need to Talk About Twitter’s Anti-Semitic Problem

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 5.48.05 PM
Credit: Twitter

Today we have something extremely serious to talk about: the growing number of anti-Semitic Trump supporters on Twitter and their vicious attacks.

First time you’re hearing about this? We’re not surprised.

These Twitter users are able to go about discretely largely based on their use of echoes, as Mic. points out. They call out and identify Jew on Twitter to each other by putting multiple parenthesis around their last name like ((((this)))), making it nearly unsearchable.

“It’s closed captioning for the Jew-blind,” one neo-Nazi wrote on Twitter, who goes by the user name @Pr0tocolsrReal.

You can see an example below, screenshot by Mic.

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Credit: Mic.

Freaked out yet? We haven’t even got to the half of it.

Last week, The New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman dedicated his article to describing the vicious attacks made on him after he tweeted out a negative article on Donald Trump. What started out as simple hate speech, quickly amplified to Semitic images, like the photoshopped Auschwitz sign at the top of this article. Jonathan wrote,

Holocaust taunts, like a path of dollar bills leading into an oven, were followed by Holocaust denial. The Jew as leftist puppet master from @DonaldTrumpLA was joined by the Jew as conservative fifth columnist, orchestrating war for Israel. That one came from someone who tagged himself a proud future member of the Trump Deportation Squad.”

With terrifying messages and images circling the social media site, people (like us) began to wonder why Twitter wasn’t taking this more seriously and trying to curb hate speech on their site. And that’s when the protestors began.

No, not the protestors who wanted Twitter to take a stand and do something about the horrible hateful words that often fill up Twitter’s news feeds, anti-Semitic and otherwise. No, we’re talking about the folks in favor of hate speech who began protesting any possible changes to Twitter that could silence them. That’s when the hashtag “I stand with hate speech” began making its way on to the site. That’s when tweets about how hate speech is their American right began.

Unfortunately Jonathan Weisman wasn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last. He wrote,

“I am not the first Jewish journalist to experience the onslaught. Julia Ioffe was served up on social media in concentration camp garb and worse after Trump supporters took umbrage with her profile of Melania Trump in GQ magazine. The would-be first lady later told an interviewer that Ms. Ioffe had provoked it. The anti-Semitic hate hurled at the conservative commentator Bethany Mandel prompted her to buy a gun.”

We encourage you to read Jonathan’s article in full here, and take a stand against hate speech of any kind. We cannot let anyone think that racist, sexist, or any -ist talk of any kind will be tolerated in our county. This election could be a turning point for our country, so let’s make sure we control the way it turns.

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