Twitter will not suspend the account of Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, after he compared jews to insects in a tweet he made, according to BuzzFeed News.
Farrakhan has long been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks. Recently, he posted a clip of a speech he gave in Detroit for the 23rd anniversary event in honour of the 1995 Million Man March. Throughout the speech, Farrakhan supported Kanye West’s comments on abolishing the 13th amendment, and then says “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite,” after going on an anti-Semitic rant.
I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite. pic.twitter.com/L5dPQcnVg4
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) October 16, 2018
The twitter post received quite a bit of backlash from people on social media.
One person took to twitter and said: “What he said is horrifying. What a despicable man. It is ironic that he is discussing the negative effects of hate and racism by filling the air with just that. Hate and racism are perpetuated by people who spew it, teach it, and keep it in their heatrs. It’s that simple.”
Another post reads: “@Twitter is this hate speech that could promote violence??? Is this what you promote??? @jack @TwitterMoments So if someone started spewing out that people are equal to termites does that mean they can be exterminated? Is this what you promote on your platform?”
Figures such as First Daughter, Chelsea Clinton, are attacking Farrakhan for continuing his anti-Semitic sentiments.
“The responsive laughter makes my skin crawl. For everyone who rightly condemned President Trump’s rhetoric when he spoke about immigrants ‘infesting our country,’ this rhetoric should be equally unacceptable to you,” Clinton wrote.
“Comparing Jews to termites is anti-Semitic, wrong and dangerous,” she continues.
Comparing Jews to termites is anti-Semitic, wrong and dangerous. The responsive laughter makes my skin crawl. For everyone who rightly condemned President Trump’s rhetoric when he spoke about immigrants “infesting our country,” this rhetoric should be equally unacceptable to you: https://t.co/EvFp4ULugm
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) October 17, 2018
Conservative politician Ben Shapiro criticized twitter’s inconsistency to police content that violates the platform’s community guidelines.
“Twitter’s standards are an utterly inconsistent joke” he says.
According to a statement Twitter made on Wednesday, the company has not yet moved forward with its policy that prohibits “dehumanizing” language which it announced earlier in September.
More specifically, BuzzFeed News details the policy changes which include “language that treats others as less than human … comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to a tool for some other purpose (mechanistic).”
Since the policy has not been implemented yet, Farrakhan’s rhetoric is not considered in violation “of any extant policy.”
Twitter has penalized Farrakhan over his remarks in the past. Earlier this year, the company removed the leader’s verified status for tweeting about “the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan” in May.
Jewish NGO, Anti-Defamation League, has asked Twitter to remove Farrakhan’s comment.
“Louis Farrakhan has a long history of vile, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. His latest remarks dehumanizing Jews by calling us termites are despicable,” said Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement to the Jewish Journal. “We call on Twitter to remove Farrakhan’s hateful content from the platform to prevent him from spreading and normalizing such hateful messages. This content is exactly the kind of thing the new Twitter policy the company outlined just a few weeks ago is meant to stop.”