A think-tank has threatened to sue Google,Yahoo and Twitter for hosting content that promotes Holocaust denial and virulent antisemitism
The Lawfare Project, a civil rights litigation fund which aims to pursue to antisemitic discrimination around the world, said the internet giants could face legal action for failing to address the problem in their search results.
Director Brooke Goldstein announced the project had sent cease-and-desist letters to Google and Yahoo concerning Holocaust denial websites appearing in their searches.
It has also sent detailed complaints to Twitter about content on the platform.
Ms Goldstein, whose grandfather was a commander in a unit of Polish partisans that fought against the Nazis, said: “Google, Yahoo and Twitter have a very simple choice: take down the antisemitic content or be taken to court.
“It’s time these companies took action against the incitement to hatred and violence against Jews that runs through their platforms like an open sewer.
“If they want to continue to host vicious antisemitism then they will have a fight on their hands, in Spain, and anywhere else.”
The legal letters, which were filed in Spain, warned that if the platforms did not act to take down the antisemitic content, a lawsuit would be filed against them.
The group said it would to hold the companies accountable for “the dissemination of libellous, defamatory content as defined by Spanish law, on their platforms.”
While denial is not illegal in Spain, justifying the Holocaust or any other genocide is an offence punishable by imprisonment.
The Lawfare Project – known also for a legal challenge against the shechita ban in Belgium – has a legal team in Spain specifically committed to funding legal actions in the country on behalf of the Jewish community.
Its Spanish counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios, said: “Google, Yahoo and Twitter are all hosting antisemitic websites and content on their platforms which violate Spanish law.
“This cannot be allowed to continue. If they do not respond positively to the cease and desist letters sent last week, we will file lawsuits against them.”