Ger­man Satirist Paints Twitter’s Office with Offen­sive Tweets


Twitter has been subjected to continuous criticism from its users as well as the media for failing to curb racist, abusive and other offensive content and now a German man has painted offensive messages outside its Hamburg office to give the micro-blogging website’s staff a taste of what he sees on Twitter regularly.

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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.

According to a BBC report, the German satirist claims that Twitter responded to only nine of his 300 complaints in the last six months. In all of the replies, the company said that the reported tweets didn’t violate the site’s rules.

While Shapiro has painted Twitter’s office with offline tweets, he praised Facebook’s efforts towards putting a stop to offensive content on the social media platform.

He mentioned that Facebook removed 80 percent of the comments that he had reported in the same six month period.

The tweets that Shapiro stencilled on Twitter’s Hamburg office wall include homophobic and xenophobic content and other involving Holocaust denial.

“If Twitter forces me to see these things, then they’ll have to see them too,” said Shapira in the video. He also claims that the tweets he had reported were not just plain insults but ‘serious threats of violence’.

“Germany needs a final solution to Islam,” read one of the tweets. “Let’s gas the Jews,” says another, in reference to the Nazis’ murder of six million Jews during World War Two.
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The crimes committed by Nazi Germany against the Jews is a sensitive matter and the German government has been working relentlessly to neutralise the issue and maintain peace.

Facebook had come under German government scrutiny in November 2016 for allowing hate speech content to go viral on its network among German users.

Back then Germany’s Federal Justice Ministry and Consumer Protection had warned officials at Facebook, including Mark Zuckerberg, that defamation laws in Germany are harsher than in USA.

In June 2017, the German government passed a law stating that social media companies who fail to delete racist posts within 24 hours will face a fine up to $58 million.

While Shahak Shapiro is going around tweeting to Twitter offline, the company claims to have significantly reduced cyber bullying on their platform.

“While there is still much work to be done, people are experiencing significantly less abuse on Twitter today than they were six months ago. We promised to do more with our technology. We’re now taking action,” said Ed Ho, GM of Consumer Product and Engineering at Twitter.

(With inputs from IANS)

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