Abused MP Luciana Berger urges Twitter to act on racism


A Jewish MP targeted by abusive internet users has called on social media companies including Twitter to ban the use of racist words on their sites.

Luciana Berger said online hatred must be taken as seriously as abuse perpetrated offline.

“Twitter’s response isn’t good enough. It has a responsibility to do more to protect its users. The site is letting me and many others down who have been the subject of lots of hate,” she told the Telegraph.

The Labour politician’s case received widespread attention in the media and Parliament. In October the JC revealed how the campaign against her was being co-ordinated by a United States-based neo-Nazi website.

At the height of the campaign, she received more than 2,500 racist tweets using the hashtag #filthyjewbitch in three days.

In her first public comments on the abuse, the Liverpool Wavertree MP said Twitter could tackle the problem in a number of ways.

“It could start by proactively banning racist words which aren’t allowed to printed in newspapers or broadcast on TV that could never be used in a positive way – such as kike – a derogative and antisemitic term for describing a Jew.”

The social media site has never publicly commented on Ms Berger’s case, and did not respond to the JC’s questions about how it had dealt with her abusers.

Ms Berger said she had made direct approaches to Twitter executives to suspend offensive users’ accounts. She now felt “let down” by the company.

“It took well over a week for some of the abusive content to be removed and even when it was, the approach was sporadic and very haphazard,” the Shadow Public Health Minister said.

“Twitter has made some improvements on the site and it’s important that you can report people – but when you are getting the level of abuse I was, it’s an onerous task reporting each and every person.”

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