On October 16, known anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan compared Jewish people to termites on Twitter.
There was a collective outrage about the tweet. Several outlets, including IJR, noted that the tweet was despicable and should be removed.
Twitter did nothing.
Watch Farrakhan’s disgusting remarks:
This was not a rare remark for Farrakhan. He embraces his anti-Semitism. As he said in the clip above, he believes accusations of anti-Semitism put his name “all over the planet.” He regularly tweets anti-Semitic propaganda about “Satanic Jews.”
All of this talk of “hatred,” “bigotry” and “anti-Semitism” that I have been labeled with is a smokescreen for those people who are afraid of truth that manifests their evil. But I don’t care what the consequences are for telling the truth.
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) February 1, 2018
The termite comparison was not the first anti-Semitic tweet from Farrakhan and with Twitter’s inaction, it certainly doesn’t look like it will be his last.
Meanwhile, Twitter has banned prominent conservative pundits for much less.
- “Gay Patriot,” Bruce Carroll thinks he was permanently banned for referring to Wikileaks leaker and trans activist Chelsea Manning as Bradley Manning.
- Conservative Actor James Woods was temporarily banned for tweeting a picture of a parody ad campaign calling for men to stay home from voting to empower women. Woods quoted the tweet, joking, “There is a distinct possibility that this could be real.” Still, Twitter locked his account, demanding he deletes the tweet because it was “misleading.”
- GOP Senate candidate Austin Peterson was temporarily banned from Twitter one week before his primary election for “abusive behavior.” The tweet they flagged was an announcement that his campaign accepts bitcoin for donations.
The larger problem isn’t that there appears to be no standard for the type of comments that can get you banned from Twitter, but rather that this recent tweet from Farrakhan dehumanized Jewish people and two weeks later 11 innocent people died.
The massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue claimed 11 lives and wounded several survivors. U.S. Attorneys are charging the gunman with a hate crime because he targeted these people for one reason: they are Jewish.
Yet, Farrakhan’s tweet still stands.
Several people have called out Twitter for their inaction.
8+ people were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh by a suspect that reportedly yelled: "All Jews must die!"
Just a reminder: Twitter has stood by this Hitler-worshipping anti-Semite and allowed him to keep this video up calling Jews "termites" https://t.co/vK5O0fLQ0y
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 27, 2018
Just 9 days before deadly Synagogue Shooting…. Louis Farrakhan: Nation of Islam Leader Compares Jews to ‘Termites… https://t.co/kr5MQaTbpH
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) October 27, 2018
Although the outrage about Farrakhan’s tweet still stands, it doesn’t look like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey or anyone else will take any real steps to get the tweet removed, even in the wake of the disgusting attack in Pittsburg.
Several people have asked if Dorsey is even aware of how out of hand things have gotten on the platform because shootings and bombings are taking place while he brags about a good night’s sleep.
Do you… actually check to see what's happening on your platform? https://t.co/HOsqJOv1Oe
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) October 27, 2018
tweeting about getting a good night sleep the day after it was revealed that your platform ignored threats of violence from someone who went on to mail bombs to politicians is really just peak tech bro https://t.co/8f4IwGtzgb
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) October 27, 2018
Although managing a platform as large as Twitter is a daunting task, removing a tweet that compares a group of people to termites seems like an easy decision.