German satirist paints 'hate speech' tweets at Twitter HQ in protest

German satirist paints 'hate speech' tweets at Twitter HQ in protest

"Things no one should say and no one should read".

The posts included tweets like "Lets gas some Jews together" and "hang these lowlifes from the nearest street post", as well as calls for violence against Muslims, gays, women and people of color.

Shahak Shapiro, a German national, has uploaded a video on YouTube titled '#HeyTwitter' which shows him stencil 30 offensive tweets that he claims to see on a regular basis while using the social media platform.

"This will never be big enough to even visualise the amount of hate tweets on Twitter, but maybe we can at least give them some food for thought", he said.

Twitter is now taking action on 10 times as many abusive accounts compared with the same time previous year, the company added. It would not say how many accounts had been addressed and declined to comment on Shapira's protest.

Germany, in particular, has recently passed a legislation, nicknamed the "Facebook law", under which social media companies could face a fine of up to €50m (£43m; $57m) if they fail to remove "obviously illegal" content after receiving notification or complaint. I'm not demanding Twitter to set up new guidelines. The action is part of Shapira's #HEYTWITTER campaign, a response to Twitter's choice to not remove such comments from their platform. Sensitivity surrounding the callous phenomenon of online hate speech is heightened as memories of World War Two and the Holocaust live on, and legal ramifications are being ramped up accordingly.

Shapira applauded Facebook which, in contrast, removed 80 per cent of the comments he had reported during the same six-month period. But Shapira said he had been left in the dark about many of his requests. "It's very hard for me to say without exact numbers, but all I know was that there were too many that weren't taken care of".

According to the artist, Twitter does not consider this "hate speech, ' which begs the question, what does Twitter consider to be 'hate speech"?! It also found that Twitter deleted just 1 percent of offending posts over the time studied.

"While there is still much work to be done, people are experiencing significantly less abuse on Twitter today than they were six months ago". Instead of sitting in a quiet rage though, he chose to go out and make Twitter's own employees face the tweets themselves, right outside their offices in Hamburg. Others remained visible awhile longer.

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