MP Luciana Berger Says Twitter Should 'Ban Racist Words'

Racist words should be blocked by Twitter, a Labour MP who was a victim of online anti-Semitism has said.

Luciana Berger, shadow minister for public health, said she received 2,500 hate messages at the height of an internet campaign against her.

In October, Garron Helm, from Litherland, north of Liverpool, was handed a four-week custodial sentence at Merseyside Magistrates Court for sending an anti-Semitic tweet to Miss Berger.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Berger called on the social networking site to do more to stop abuse.

The MP for Liverpool Wavertree said: "At the height of the abuse, the police said I was the subject of 2,500 hate messages in the space of three days using the hashtag 'filthyjewbitch'.

"Online hate needs to be taken as seriously as offline hate - but it isn't. Twitter's response isn't good enough. It has a responsibility to do more to protect its users.

"The site is letting me and many others down who have been the subject of lots of hate. It could start by automatically banning racist words which aren't allowed to be printed in newspapers or broadcast on TV that could never be used in a positive way - such as kike (a derogatory term for a Jewish person)."

Berger also said the abuse was led by white supremacists and had forced her to increase security at her home, including fitting a "bomb bag at the back of my post boxes".

A spokesman for Twitter told the paper the firm was "working hard" to combat abuse but blocking individual words was "generally ineffective at stopping unwanted behaviour".

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