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Friday, September 25, 2020

Twitter sparks fury after locking accounts with the Star of David as a profile image

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Twitter has been accused of an ‘inept response to anti-Semitism’ after they locked accounts belonging to Jewish users which had the Star of David as their profile picture. 

Twitter locked accounts which displayed the Jewish Star of David, telling the users they had breached its rules for having ‘hateful images’ in their profile pictures.  

Among the blocked accounts, one showed a series of yellow stars, while others showed a Star of David next to Batman character Harley Quinn and the star on a cream background in a graffiti style.    

In a statement, Twitter said they did not consider the Star of David a hateful image and they were trying to take down images of the ‘yellow star’, which has allegedly been used to target Jewish users. 

Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, who received complaints from Twitter users after their profiles were shut down, told the MailOnline in a statement that the platform’s response to anti-Semitism was ‘inept’.  

Pictured: The accounts blocked by Twitter. Among the blocked accounts, only one showed the 'yellow star', while others showed a Star of David next to Batman character Harley Quinn or the star on a cream background in a graffiti style

Pictured: The accounts blocked by Twitter. Among the blocked accounts, only one showed the 'yellow star', while others showed a Star of David next to Batman character Harley Quinn or the star on a cream background in a graffiti style

Pictured: The accounts blocked by Twitter. Among the blocked accounts, only one showed the ‘yellow star’, while others showed a Star of David next to Batman character Harley Quinn or the star on a cream background in a graffiti style 

Pictured: One of the accounts blocked by Twitter. The social media platform said they are working to stamp out the 'yellow star' profiles, which have allegedly been used to target Jews

Pictured: One of the accounts blocked by Twitter. The social media platform said they are working to stamp out the ‘yellow star’ profiles, which have allegedly been used to target Jews

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at the Jewish anti-Semitism campaign group said: ‘Only one of the accounts locked featured a yellow star, and it very clearly did so as a means of reclaiming the yellow stars used by the Nazis. 

‘This is precisely the kind of inept response to antisemitism that we have come to expect from Twitter, which just last week tried to convince us that the viral antisemitic #JewishPrivilege hashtag was legitimate. 

‘We would happily help Twitter, but they largely ignore us when we approach them. It seems that Twitter prefers to go after Jewish users who proudly display their identity but not after antisemitic users who unabashedly promote anti-Jewish vitriol.’  

According to the Jerusalem Post, the users received messages saying: ‘We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. 

Twitter's statement reads: 'We want to clarify some questions about hateful imagery on Twitter. We categorically do not consider the Star of David a hateful symbol or hateful image'

Twitter’s statement reads: ‘We want to clarify some questions about hateful imagery on Twitter. We categorically do not consider the Star of David a hateful symbol or hateful image’

‘Specifically for: Violating our rules against posting hateful imagery.  

‘You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header. 

‘As a result, we have locked your account.’   

Just last week Twitter was accused of failing to combat anti-Semitism after the #JewishPrivilege hashtag began trending on its platform. 

The hashtag was used to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, such as Jews being in control of the slave trade and running the world order.

Jews on Twitter began to use the hashtag to detail the discrimination, hardship and anti-Semitism they, and their families, had encountered. 

A Twitter statement referring to the Star of David complaints today said: ‘We want to clarify some questions about hateful imagery on Twitter. We categorically do not consider the Star of David a hateful symbol or hateful image. We have for some time seen the ‘yellow star’ or ‘yellow badge’ symbol being used by those seeking to target Jewish people.’ 

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