Are you wasting your time reporting hate speech on Twitter?
Twitter claims that it’s a safe place to exist online. It has extensive Community Guidelines designed that speak about harassment and hate speech, yet if you’ve reported hate speech to Twitter, you’ve probably been dissapointed.
Twitter’s moderators regularly allow hate speech that does not fall under very narrow criteria. References to Hitler, Holocaust denial and claims that Jews are behind secret conspiracies are often found not to violate Twitter’s Guidelines.
I am not the only one to notice this problem. The ADL also says that twitter has a hate speech problem1 and even have suggestions on how they could improve2. The American Jewish Committe also pointed out Twitter’s apathy to hate speech.3
I applaud anyone who spends the time reporting hate speech online and working to make the Internet a safet place, but as Maya Angelou said, when someone tells you who they are, believe them, and Twitter has shown us exactly who they are over many years.
In an article from The Atlantic in 2021, Yair Rosenberg outlined why neither Twitter nor Facebook are safe for Jews online and why they have a perverse incentive to not remove this vile content from their platforms.4 As long as the financial incentives exist for hate speech, the large platforms will need to act in the best interest of profits.
The alternative is clear- a site run by people who have an understanding of antisemitism and have a vested interest in making a space that’s safe for Jews online. That is what Babka is, an online space for Jews and allies.
You have a choice- to try to pressure Twitter to change or to build something better. You may argue that Twitter is larger than Babka is or will ever be. You’d be right. Babka will never be the worldwide phenomoenon of 330 million users. Even if ever single Jew joined Babka, there are only 15 million of us.
Fighting antisemitism on Twitter is a noble goal, but I offer you an alternative- to join Babka and instead of tearing down hate speech, building up Jewish online community. Join us and shape the future!
Written by Serge
Founder of Babka