Organization Fighting Anti-Semitism Locked Out of Twitter for Exposing an Anti-Semitic Tweet


Photo from Flickr/Esther Vargas.

UPDATE: Canary Mission now has access to their account again. The organization told the Journal that Twitter sent them a message saying they “made an error” in locking them out.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Canary Mission, the organization that exposes various anti-Semitic and anti-Israel individuals and organizations, is claiming that Twitter has locked them out of their account yet again for exposing an anti-Semitic tweet issued by an alumnus of Students for Justice in Palestine at University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington).

According to a press release from Canary Mission, Twitter informed them on March 3 that Canary Mission would be prevented from accessing their account for tweeting on May 2017 that Ahmed Ellahi “modified Adele’s lyrics to say ‘Set Fire to the Jews.’”

Screenshot courtesy of Canary Mission.

Here is Ellahi’s now-deleted tweet:

Screenshot courtesy of Canary Mission.

Canary Mission told the Journal in an email that Twitter never explained to them why their tweet violated the site’s policies.

“How is it possible that exposure of gross anti-Semitism can break a Twitter rule?” the organization stated in the press release. “What rule could Twitter possibly have against fighting bigotry? Given that the original deeply offensive tweet stood for 5 years, it is even harder to understand.”

A Twitter spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon that Canary Mission’s account was suspended as a result of an “error and has since been restored.” As of this writing, Canary Mission is claiming that they are still locked out.

The March 3 lockout is the latest issue that Canary Mission has had with Twitter, as the organization initially had their account suspended on February 24. Canary Mission appealed the suspension, only to be told by Twitter that their account was in violation of “Twitter Rules against hateful conduct” and would remain suspended until further notice. Twitter eventually reversed their suspension after an immense backlash occurred.

Canary Mission was never told why their account was initially suspended, although they suspect it was due to their tweet exposing Ellahi.

“If so, the case has just become even more disturbing…perhaps bizarre,” Canary Mission said in the press release.

Canary Mission told the Journal that their account was previously suspended in May 2016 but was eventually reinstated thanks to Roseanne Barr leading “a successful campaign on Twitter” in support of the organization.

“Following that, we have had no issues with Twitter until this latest suspension in late February,” Canary Mission said.

Canary Mission is attempting to get around Twitter’s restrictions for by establishing two new accounts: Canary Mission Professors and Canary Mission Canada. So far, Twitter hasn’t targeted either of those two accounts, but Canary Mission noted that the accounts are “very new.”

Canary Mission doesn’t seem to be the only account fighting anti-Semitism to have issues with Twitter, as the organization highlighted how the GnasherJew Twitter account, which exposes anti-Semitism in Britain’s Labour Party, was locked out at because Twitter deemed their yellow Star of David avatar with the word “Jew” on it to be “hateful.”

“We use the yellow star of David as our avatar, as a symbol of our resistance to the oppression and harassment of Jews within the Labour Party,” GnasherJew said in a statement to the Jerusalem Post. “We have been constantly targeted by Labour Party supporters and members… We have been physically threatened, yet Twitter does nothing about these accounts, and our tiny symbol of resistance is taken as ‘hateful.’”

Canary Mission said in their press release that it was important for them to stand up to Twitter instead of simply deleting their tweet.

“Twitter seems to have a ‘Jewish’ problem and it needs to deal with it,” the organization stated. “It suspended, then locked a respected anti-Semitism watchdog, but at the same time it continues to allow white supremacist David Duke to tweet freely, terrorist organization Hamas to push violent propaganda and radical preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi to promote videos that call for the killing of Jews. When Hatem Bazian, founder of campus hate group SJP, retweeted an outrageous anti-Semitic meme, his account remained open, and his brand of anti-Semitism was given a voice online.”

As of this writing, Twitter has not responded to the Journal’s request for comment.

Twitter recently announced that they would be cracking down on various Twitter accounts in order to promote public discourse. Daily Wire editor-in-chief and Journal columnist Ben Shapiro lambasted the announcement as “Orweillian doublespeak.”

“The terms of service at Twitter have already been used in disparate ways based on the political opinions being voiced,” wrote Shapiro. “Disgusting racism emanating from the alt-right has been targeted by Twitter; racism coming from the radical Left has been largely ignored. Nasty users on the alt-right have had their verification stripped, as though user fraud is fine so long as Twitter doesn’t like you. Just as with Facebook and Google, supposedly unbiased algorithms have turned out to be biased in practice.”

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