After the synagogue shooting, Twitter calls on Jack Dorsey to ‘stop the hate’

Over the weekend, following yet another synagogue shooting where the shooter allegedly penned an online Islamophobic manifesto, people took to Twitter to ask the platform’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, to end the hate. Or at least do the bare minimum to address it. 

Under #JackStopTheHate, many shared their accounts—or the accounts of people they knew—of being maliciously harassed based on their religion, gender, or skin color. Meanwhile, they noted, white supremacists and white nationalists were protected on the site and their accounts were allowed to stay up.

https://twitter.com/Beebear08/status/1122510817969283072

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Some pointed out the likely obvious reason Dorsey won’t suspend white supremacists and nationalists: They bring more views to the platform, and in turn, more money. 

Since Dorsey won’t budge, some tried to urge Twitter employees to force his hand.

With many people having been blocked or bullied by President Donald Trump—or having had hate messages directed to them because of his rhetoric—the hashtag quickly spiraled into asking Dorsey to do something about the president specifically.

https://twitter.com/Trumpnado2016/status/1122494124731568133

On Sunday afternoon, the Women’s March also asked Dorsey to suspend President Trump’s Twitter account, and has even started a petition.

The petition, which calls for President Trump’s account suspension in light of his recent remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar that led to a slew of threats against her and her family, had nearly 35,000 signatures as of Monday morning. 

“This is as dangerous as it is unprecedented,” the petition reads. “Representative Omar is receiving countless death threats as the president of the United States is inciting violence against a Black Muslim sitting member of Congress, putting her life at risk.”

It was not immediately clear if the petition was started in light of the #JackStopTheHate hashtag or had been there since earlier in the month when the president’s messaging spiraled into a series of online attacks against the congresswoman (the Women’s March did not immediately return the Daily Dot’s request for comment). But last week, Dorsey personally called Omar to tell her the president’s attack tweet did not violate any rules, even though the video in it was spliced without proper context and incited so much hatred online that the congresswoman reported an increase in threats against her. 

When asked for comment, Twitter reiterated its policies against hateful conduct and inciting violence based on users’ identity but did not specifically address questions about the hashtag calling out Dorsey. Dorsey has historically defended his reasoning to let white supremacists stay on the platform with a vague argument about free speech, but experts argue that this “free speech,” when used as hate speech, silences those who need it the most—marginalized communities. 

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Updated 11:30am CT, April 29, to include comment from Twitter.

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque