May dead ‘Zionists’ bodies’ be eaten by rats: Not hate speech, Twitter says

Israeli Twitter user says tech giant’s staff told him tweet calling for Zionist bodies scattered in the streets and consumed by rats doesn’t violate hate speech policy.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A prominent Lebanese journalist who called for the mass slaughter of Zionists and for their dead bodies to be consumed by rats in the streets did not violate Twitter’s hate speech policy, according to an Israeli user who reported the remarks.

“Scatter the bodies of the Zionists everywhere, so it is not said that the rats are hungry in Palestine,” Lebanon24 journalist Enass Karimeh wrote on Twitter last week.

“May God strengthen your fight,” she added, alongside an emoji of a Palestinian flag.

Ohad Merlin, a pro-Israel advocate and social media influencer, wrote on Twitter that he had raised concerns about the tweet’s hateful content but was then informed that Karimeh’s remarks fall into the realm of acceptable speech on the platform.

“Hello @Twitter,” Merlin tweeted, including a screenshot and translation of Karimeh’s tweet.

“This verified user just called to scatter me and my friends’ dead bodies so that rats would eat them. I tried reporting the tweet along with a few friends, but your kind-hearted team held that it does not violate terms of use. So what exactly ARE your terms of use?”

Merlin’s observation that the user is verified on Twitter is significant. The blue checkmark on a user’s profile confirming that Twitter confirmed the true identity of the account holder indicates that the person is important enough that the social media site has taken steps to ensure the account is legitimate.

For example, celebrities have a blue checkmark next to their names so that fans aren’t fooled into believing an impostor profile is really the public figure it purports to represent. The fact that Karimeh is verified on Twitter means that she has made significant contributions to the media world, at least in her native Lebanon.

Twitter’s apparent refusal to intervene when it comes to speech that is hateful to Zionists, Israelis, and Jews calls to mind a recent report about another social media giant’s refusal to acknowledge antisemitic content.

Hassan Khaled, an Egyptian-born consultant whose employing firm was retained by YouTube to screen Arabic-language content on the platform, said he was forced out of his job after raising the alarm about videos promoting terror and antisemitism.