Elon Musk’s Twitter account sued in Germany for anti-Semitic posts and Holocaust denial – Reuters

In Germany, Twitter was sued by an anti-hate speech organization and Jewish students for forcing Elon Musk’s social media platform to block or remove anti-Semitic messages.

In the past three months since Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion, six examples of anti-Semitic comments detailed in the lawsuit have been published, according to Bloomberg.

According to the lawsuit, one of the posts denied the existence of the Nazi Holocaust, which killed at least 6 million Jews, which Twitter “explicitly refused to destroy.”

Laws against Holocaust denial and other speeches that praise Nazis and support anti-Semitism are especially strict in Germany, which is keen to avoid revisiting the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II. Holocaust denial is punishable under German law as “sedition”.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in a Berlin regional court by Help of Hate and the European Union of Jewish Students, alleges that Twitter content is not only “illegal” but also violates Twitter’s stated policy of banning violent threats and hate speech.

The lawsuit alleges that, if successful, all users could sue to have the hateful content removed, regardless of whether or not they were directly targeted.

“Twitter has eroded our trust. By allowing hate content to be distributed, the company does not protect users and, in particular, young Jews,” said Avital Grinberg, President of EUJS, in a press release. She added ominously, “What starts online doesn’t stay online.”

The lawsuit cites a 2021 study by the Digital Hate Center that found that Twitter responded to only 11% of anti-Semitic complaints.

When Musk bought the company, he cut a large number of employees in charge of monitoring and removing hateful content. At the same time, Musk allowed notorious neo-Nazis to return to the platform.

A study conducted after Musk’s purchase of the company found that the surge in hate speech has never been greater in Twitter’s history.

Before Musk bought the company, insults against black Americans appeared on Twitter an average of 1,282 times a day. According to a study by the London-based Digital Hate Center, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups monitoring online platforms, insults have tripled since Musk bought it, or 3,876 times a day.

Insults against gay people appeared on Twitter an average of 2,506 times a day until Musk came to power. They then jumped to 3,964 times a day, according to The New York Times.

The researchers found that anti-Semitic posts rose more than 61% in the two weeks after Musk acquired the site. AVQ notes that Twitter has not only seen an increase in content attacking Jews and Judaism, but also a marked decrease in the moderation of anti-Semitic messages.

European leaders have already indicated that Twitter content is illegal in the European Union and will be severely punished.

Twitter, which no longer has a media relations department, could not be reached for comment.

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