"Government inaction on the issue of online hate is depriving individuals and communities the opportunity to participate in online spaces where everyone is valued and respected." Cllr Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities and Equalities
There is no room for hate speech in our society – offline or online. Haringey Labour stands in solidarity with the Jewish community; we are currently engaging with Haringey’s Jewish community leaders and the police to provide support during this difficult period.
The anti-Semitic Twitter and Instagram posts by rapper Wiley over the weekend are nothing short of a violent attack on the Jewish community. We desperately need better education and awareness on debunking racist tropes and conspiracy theories, but the fact that Twitter were so slow to act demonstrates the need for a change in the law that holds social media companies to account.
For years, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites have been called on to take robust action on racism, anti-Semitism, and incitement to hatred. It is clear that, despite being given ample opportunity, social media platforms are unwilling or unable to effectively moderate their own sites for harmful content.
The delay to the Online Harms Bill – which will now be implemented as late as 2024, seven years after it was first proposed – is completely unacceptable. The fact that this is just one horrendous incident in a slew of harmful online behaviour – the racist abuse suffered by former Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbott and footballer Wilfried Zaha to name a few, and the masses of dangerous misinformation spread online regarding the Coronavirus pandemic – should compel the government to prioritise making the Online Harms Bill law.
Social media can be used as a force for good; Twitter has played an incredibly important role in giving a louder voice to the Black Lives Matter movement, but government inaction on the issue of online hate is depriving individuals and communities the opportunity to participate in online spaces where everyone is valued and respected.
Cllr Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities and Equalities