In protest, artist stencils hate speech outside Twitter office


Explaining why he launched his campaign in a YouTube video, Shapira said of the 300 tweets reported he received only nine responses from the company, each rejecting the suggestion that the tweets were a violation of the company's terms of service.

Shahak Shapira, in a protest, paints multiple "hate speech" at Twitter's Hamburg office.

"Germany needs a final solution to Islam", read one of the tweets. The artist decried the tweets as "not just plain insults or jokes, but absolutely serious threats of violence".

"This will never be big enough to even visualise the amount of hate tweets on Twitter, but maybe we can at least give them some food for thought", he said.

Germany, in particular, has recently passed a legislation, nicknamed the "Facebook law", under which social media companies could face a fine of up to €50m (£43m; $57m) if they fail to remove "obviously illegal" content after receiving notification or complaint.

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The campaign branded the hashtag #HeyTwitter, hopes to force Twitter into dealing with hate speech faster, and has picked up supporters the world over. "It's very hard for me to say without exact numbers, but all I know was that there were too many that weren't taken care of".

This isn't the first time Shapira's visceral condemnations of disrespectful online phenomena have hit headlines.

Shapira contrasts Twitter's approach to these messages with that of Facebook, who he says removed some 80 percent of the 150 posts he reported to the company within days.

Unlike their digital inspiration, numerous messages sprayed on the sidewalk closest to the entrance to the Twitter offices were removed by a street cleaner several hours after Shapira painted them. Back in January, the artist simultaneously lampooned and derided the trend for taking selfies with Holocaust memorials on his website Yolocaust, stripping away background images and replacing them with scenes from concentration camps.