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

Shahak Shapira claims Twitter failed to delete hateful tweets
Credit
You Tube  Shahak Shapira

Shapira has produced a YouTube video (see above) to highlight his protest called '#HEYTWITTER', in which he claims that he has reported nearly 300 obnoxious tweets and more than 150 hate comments to Facebook so far this year.

"Muslim scum", reads one tweet, "Jewish pig", reads another, while one uses a commonly used racial slur and describes black people as "a plague".

With the help of his friends, he picked 30 of the 300 tweets he had reported, turned them into stencils, headed to Hamburg and spray-painted them right outside Twitter's office on the ground.

"We continue to review and iterate on our policies and their enforcement", it said in an emailed statement.

In June, the country passed a law which could force social media companies to delete racist or slanderous posts within 24 hours or face a fine of up to 50 million euros ($58 million).

In comparison, Shapira said his complaints over 150 similar messages on Facebook led to 80% of them being removed by the company's administrators within three days.

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Germany has one of the world's toughest laws as far as hate speech is concerned. But Shapira said he had been left in the dark about many of his requests.

This is not the first time Shapira has sought to draw attention to hateful messages on social media.

Shapira made the headlines in January for the Yolocaust project, in which he juxtaposed selfies of people at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin with archive footage from concentration camps.

"I haven't received a single (message) telling me a tweet was actually removed", Shapira said, adding: "Occasionally, Twitter would remove a tweet without letting me know".

Unlike their digital inspiration, numerous messages sprayed on the sidewalk closest to the entrance to the Twitter offices were removed by a street cleaner several hours after Shapira painted them.

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