“Internet ASBOs” for those spreading racial hatred online

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People spreading racial hatred online could be hit with “internet ASBOs” blocking them from sites such as Facebook and Twitter under new proposals to crack down on the rapid growth of anti-Semitism in the UK.

A group of MPs has requested that the Crown Prosecution Service examine if prevention orders can be applied to online hate crimes.

The issue follows terror attacks in Paris that targeted a Jewish supermarket.

Last summer, “Holocaust” and “Hitler” emerged among the top 35 key words on Twitter, revealed the MPs’ report.

“Given the scale of social media content produced on a daily let alone minute by minute basis, we have some albeit limited sympathy for the companies that are responsible for hosting it,” said the report.

“Whilst there is rightly an expectation on those companies to act as there is on government, police and prosecuting authorities, so too civil society has a crucial role to play.”

The report also urged the government to set up a fund that would cover security costs at synagogues as well as the creation of an independent council on anti-Semitism.

In 2014, anti-Semitic incidents hit a record high in the UK, based on figures from Community Security Trust, which is a charity that monitors anti-Semitism and offers security for Jewish communities in the UK.

Metropolitan Police data indicated that there were 236 anti-Semitic offences and 306 anti-Semitic incidents in London from April to November last year.

In welcoming the report, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the threat faced by the Jewish community is real, with anxiety remaining high after the events that occurred recently in France and elsewhere.


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