British Jewish MP Criticizes Twitter for Ignoring anti-Semitic Tweet Flood

Labour Party member Luciana Berger received a barrage of 2,500 anti-Semitic tweets.

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Luciana Berger, Britain's opposition Labour Party Shadow Minister for Mental Health attends the Labour Party conference, Brighton, U.K., September 30, 2015.
Luciana Berger, Britain's opposition Labour Party Shadow Minister for Mental Health attends the Labour Party conference, Brighton, U.K., September 30, 2015. Credit: Reuters
JTA
JTA

A Jewish member of the British Parliament criticized Twitter for its slow response to a barrage of anti-Semitic tweets she received last year.

Luciana Berger, 34, the Labour Party’s shadow minister for mental health, was subjected to as many as 2,500 anti-Semitic tweets over a three-day span in October 2014. On Wednesday, she said that Twitter has not taken enough steps to curb anti-Semitic content on the site, which she still receives.

“It did feel that progress was frustratingly slow,” Berger, Britain’s youngest Jewish parliamentarian, told the Jewish Chronicle in London about last year’s incident. “Twitter asked me to report any abusive tweets using what was then an onerous online system which took a few minutes to report every tweet.”

She said that Twitter has improved its reporting platform over this year, but it still leaves too much room for contextualization. For instance, the word “kike,” as she argued Wednesday, has no “justifiable context” and should be consistently removed from the site.

“There is still an abundance of anti-Semitism on Twitter,” Berger said. “I have received more over the weekend. I have a voice as an MP, but I do worry for that young teenage boy or girl who may be the subject of a barrage of hate messages. They may not have the ability to deal with it.”

In 2014, a 21-year-old man was sentenced to four weeks in a British prison for sending Berger a tweet with a Star of David image and the phrase “Hitler was right.” The onslaught of 2,500 hateful tweets followed the incident.

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