Isn’t it funny? The world seems like a different place every day. One day it is like a park full of puppies. Another day it seems like we’re all living in a hell hole. And today it feels like we’ve woken up in the early 1900s. Well, why do you ask? Many people seem to be under the effect of the Anti-Semitic poet of that era, Ezra Pound.
Far-rights are having a field day on social media – mostly on Instagram and Twitter. (Well, Facebook is not entirely exempt, but it is mostly filled with Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos these days). They have been targeting the Jews and spewing hate speech everywhere. In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh massacre, it truly is a heart-breaking to see.
Conspiracy theories about how the Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks in America are going on about rounds on both Instagram and Twitter. Hashtags like #jewsdid911 and #911wasdonebythejews are seen on about a whopping 12,000 posts on Instagram. After this was discovered by The New York Times, people were flabbergasted that the social media giants did not take charge immediately.
Instagram and Twitter, both claim to have strict community standards and policies. However, this did not stop the numerous accounts on both platforms that have hate-content targeted towards the Jews. There were multiple posts that were hailing the Nazi ideologies and Hitler about his immense hatred for the Jews.
If you think what you read till now was crazy, wait for the crazier part. Instagram not only did a poor job policing the content on its platform, but it deleted posts from the user called as the ‘Crazy Jewish mom’ that questioned the standards of the pic-sharing platform. She has been receiving insane amounts of hate and harassment online, and no action was taken. She shared two screenshots of the memes that she received, one of them joking about Jews being led into a gas chamber. Another such meme was a SpongeBob doing a Nazi salute and both the pictures are still intact on Instagram.
What officials are saying
When an Instagram official was questioned about this, a statement was released by them that went – “We are actively reviewing hashtags and content related to these events and removing content that violates our policies, including hate speech, We do not allow content that attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, or their sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability. We will continue to remove this content as soon as we’re aware.”
After continuous feedback from the users, Instagram deleted the two hashtags that were linked to anti-semitic accounts. It still fails to act on comedian Owen Benjamin though, who regularly posts offensive content on his Instagram of 50,000 followers.
Twitter has been no better and has always had cases of such abuse and harassment. There is always some debate going on about how the platform never firmly takes a stance against the right-wing antics. Instead, on numerous occasions, the victim’s accounts have been suspended. Users on both platforms have been disappointed about such poor policing behavior.