Facebook and Twitter are often under fire in Europe for failing to clamp down on hate speech on their platforms.
Germany, in particular, has recently passed a legislation, nicknamed the “Facebook law”, under which social media companies could face a fine of up to 50m (43m; $57m) if they fail to remove “obviously illegal” content after receiving notification or complaint.
But for German-Israeli artist Shahak Shapira, that isn’t enough.
In a video that is going viral on YouTube, Shapira is seen stencilling some of the offensive messages he received on Twitter on the road in front of the company’s Hamburg headquarters.
The artist said he reported more than 300 tweets containing “absolutely serious threats of violence, homophobia, xenophobia, or holocaust denial” to Twitter, but he received only 9 answers over the last six months, each stating there was no violation of the social network’s community guidelines.
If Twitter forces me to see these things, then they should have to see it as well, he said in the video.
I selected some of the tweets they didnt delete and then came to Hamburg to put them in front of Twitters office. Tomorrow they will have to see the tweets they were so happy to ignore.”
Shapira said he reported about 150 comments to Facebook, and the company was more determined in removing 80% of the comments in one to three days.
Germany has one of the world’s toughest laws as far as hate speech is concerned.The current legislation dates back to 1949, in an effort to curb any pro-Nazi excitement that would lead to a resurgence of fascism after World War II.Recently, the law has been used to battle hate speech against migrants.
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.
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