“Twitter just admitted that tweets calling genocide against Jews by Iranian leaders DON’T violate its policy,” the Knesset member tweeted.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
A Knesset committee was stunned to learn on Wednesday that while tweets from President Donald Trump are flagged with warning labels by the social media giant, those calling for the destruction of Israel by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei are not.
The Knesset hearing on the topic of social media anti-Semitism took place at the end of a 48-hour boycott of Twitter by Jewish groups protesting the social media giant’s handing of anti-Semitic tweets by British rapper Wiley, who called Jews “cowards” and “snakes.” Twitter was accused of moving too slowly to remove the offensive content, some of which remain.
Attending the Knesset hearing virtually was the head of Twitter Policy for the Nordics and Israel, Ylwa Petterson,
Arsen Ostrovsky, an international human rights lawyer, queried Petterson about the fact that Twitter has recently started flagging President Trump’s tweets. “Why have you not flagged the tweets of Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, who has literally called for the genocide of Israel and the Jewish people,” he asked.
Petterson said, “So, we have an approach to world leaders that presently says that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on military-economic issues are generally not in violation of our Twitter rules.”
Knesset member Michal Cotler-Wunsh of the Blue and White party, who headed the discussion, said “Calling for genocide on Twitter is okay, but commenting on politics is not?”
“If a world leader violates our rules but there is a clear interest in keeping that up on the service, we may place it behind a notice that provides some more context about the violation and allows people to click through if they wish to see that type of content,” Pettersson said in response.
I kid you not! At Knesset hearing on Antisemitism, @Twitter rep tells me they flag @realDonaldTrump because it serves ‘public conversation’, but not Iran’s @khamenei_ir call for GENOCIDE, which passes for acceptable ‘commentary on political issues of the day’. cc. @CotlerWunsh pic.twitter.com/AXwjkrvlql
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) July 29, 2020
“That’s what happened for the Trump tweet,” she said. Pettersson continued to talk about the Trump tweet but notably did not say if a ‘more context’ notice was put up regarding Khamenei’s repeated calls for genocide against Israel and the Jews.
Cotler-Wunsh then said, “I think what’s come up again and again through different examples is a sense of double standards and I would implore Twitter and other online platforms to ensure – and I think that’s your responsibility and you need to be held to account for that – that there is no double standard.”
Later Cotler-Wunsh tweeted, “Wow. Twitter just admitted that tweets calling genocide against Jews by Iranian leaders DON’T violate its policy!”