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Racists should be banned from social media, say MPs

Date published: 10 February 2015


Social media users who spread racial hatred should be banned from sites such as Twitter and Facebook, MPs say.

The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into anti-Semitism wants prosecutors to examine whether prevention orders like those used to restrict sex offenders' internet access could be used.

The cross-party group also highlighted the use of anti-Semitic terms online.

Last week, a Community Security Trust report said UK anti-Semitic incidents more than doubled to 1,168 in 2014.

The trust - which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain - says this was its highest figure recorded since it began work in 1984.

The Parliamentary inquiry was set up following a rise in incidents in July and August last year during fighting between Gaza and Israel.

Although the primary focus of the inquiry was anti-Semitism, one recommendation it made was that those who carry out any kind of hate crime should be prevented from using social media.

Hate crimes are defined in England and Wales as offences carried against someone because of their disability, gender identity, race, religion or belief or sexual orientation and can include harassment.

The MPs said social media platforms had "increasingly been used for the spread of anti-Semitism".

Their report said the terms "Hitler" and "Holocaust" were among the top 35 phrases relating to Jews during the conflict.

The hashtags "Hitler" and "genocide" featured with "high frequency", it added. The "Hitler Was Right" hashtag trended worldwide in July 2014.

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