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Tue, 29 September 2020

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David Lammy demands action from Twitter after latest racist abuse

David Lammy demands action from Twitter after latest racist abuse

David Lammy has been repeatedly subject to racist abuse during his time as MP for Tottenham. (PA)

2 min read

Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy has urged Twitter to get “faster at stamping out racist threats” after again facing abuse online.

The Labour frontbencher, who is black, reported a user to the police on Sunday after being attacked with a racial slur and told he would “hang from a lamppost”.

But the user’s account was not suspended by the social media platform until Monday — prompting Home Secretary Priti Patel to call for “decisive action” against abuse on the site.

The post asked Mr Lammy if he was “hanging from a tree”, before branding him “monkey boy”. It added: “You will hang from a lamppost if you are not careful.”

While some of the Twitter user’s posts were removed shortly after they were posted, a number of them remained online for days.

Directly addressing Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation, Mr Lammy said: “Tell me racist abuse is not welcome on your platform. You need to get much faster at removing hate.”

Joining the condemnation of the platform, Ms Patel said: “I am sorry you have faced this awful racist abuse @DavidLammy.

“I have asked the @metpoliceuk to keep me updated on their investigation.

“As I have said before, @Twitter must take decisive action against this sort of vile content much faster.”

Mr Lammy said: “Cross-party consensus can feel rare in British politics.

“But @Twitter we are united on this.

“You need to get so much faster at stamping out racist threats and abuse.”

And Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "Social media platforms must be quicker at taking action against hate. 

“Racism has no place online or anywhere in our society."

The row comes just days after MPs, journalists and other public figures took part in a 48-hour boycott of Twitter following its response to a string of anti-semitic messages posted by the grime artist Wiley.

A spokesperson for Twitter said: "We have policies in place that address abuse and harassment, violent threats, and hateful conduct.

"If we identify accounts that violate any of these rules, we'll take enforcement action."

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