Shahak Shapira is an Israeli artist (or some say he is an activist or comedian, or all three) based in Berlin who gave us the #Yolocaust project earlier this year.
Living near the Holocaust Memorial at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, Shapira was struck by the number of people who took selfies at the memoral and posted them on the internet with smiles, stupidity, or racist comments (like the one that said, ‘jumping on dead Jews.’)
Now he has brought #HeyTwitter to Hamburg in Germany.
Shahak Shapira was disturbed that the 300 tweets he reported to Twitter as being hateful threats were not deleted by Twitter.
According to Shapira, for his 300 notes to Twitter, he received only nine replies, all stating that the reported tweets were not violating Twitter’s policy on hate speech and harassment.
So, Shapira thought that if tweets like #JewScum; “Hitler did nothing wrong;” and “Retweet if you hate Muslims” were not going to be removed, then he would force Twitter to see them up close.
Shapira made stencils of some of the most egregiously offensive tweets and spray-painted them around Twitter’s office in Hamburg, Germany.
Maybe Twitter would clean that up?
They cleaned up a few, but left a lot.
Is it art?
Is it right for a Jew to place racist graffiti in Hamburg as an art project, making it seem as if the area is racist?
Is this what they call fighting fire with fire? Or is this what they called a self promotion publicity stunt?
Should he just have placed it on Twitter’s office?
Should Germany deport him (assuming he is not yet a German citizen) for being offensive?
According to Twitter’s policies, users are told that they “may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.
In a statement to Reuters, Karen White, Twitter’s head of public policy for Europe said: “Over the past six months, we’ve introduced a host of new tools and features to improve Twitter for everyone. We’ve also improved the in-app reporting process for our users and we continue to review and iterate on our policies and their enforcement.” (Twitter was found to repond to 30% of complaints, while Facebook responded to 94%)