JCPA joined over 100 Jewish organizations signing onto a letter to Elon Musk, the CEO Of Twitter, with concerns about the proliferation of hate speech on the platform. The letter strongly urged Musk to act swiftly to address the increase in antisemitic and white supremacist tweets on Twitter. For the full letter and list of signers, click here.
Dear Mr. Musk,
We write as Jewish organizations concerned about the proliferation of hate speech on Twitter, including antisemitism, and to strongly urge you to act swiftly to address it. Both reports and our own experiences demonstrate an increase in antisemitic and white supremacist posts and images on the platform. The recent disbanding of the Trust and Safety advisory group compounds our concern.
A commitment to principles of free speech does not preclude shunning those who traffic in hate. Everyone is entitled to speak, however they are not entitled to a global megaphone to make their vitriol heard. Twitter can be a place for a robust exchange of ideas while refusing to amplify voices that attack others because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.
We are equally concerned by several of your own posts that suggest sympathy for white supremacists. This includes your tweets of a photo of a Nazi soldier and Pepe the Frog, which has become a popular meme among the alt-right. No matter your intent, we unequivocally condemn anything that affirms those who espouse hate, including against Jews. History and recent experience demonstrate that online hate inspires real life violence. Perpetrators of the Tree of Life massacre in Squirrel Hill, PA, the Poway, CA synagogue attack, and the hostage taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, among others, were all motivated to violence by the online communities of which they were a part.
Twitter has shown that it can be a force for good in the world. To continue to be so requires your intentional leadership and unequivocal rejection of antisemitism and all forms of hate. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously said, “The opposite of good is not evil; the opposite of good is indifference.” Do not be indifferent to antisemitism spread on the platform you own. We urge you to immediately take meaningful, quantifiable steps to reduce hate on Twitter.