Twitter’s failure to deal with anti-Semitism leads New York Times editor to pack up

Inundated with anti-Semitic tweets and frustrated by Twitter’s initial response, New York Times editor Jon Weisman is packing up and leaving the social media platform.

Twitter - doing too little too late on anti-Semitism?
Twitter – doing too little too late on anti-Semitism?

Weisman said Wednesday — in a tweet — that he will be “moving to Facebook where at least people need to use their real names and can’t hide behind fakery to spread their hate.”

The deputy editor of the Times’ Washington bureau and a published novelist, Weisman has more than 34,000 followers and a coveted blue check mark indicating his account is verified.

But his prominence also made Weisman, who is Jewish, a frequent target of anti-Semitic trolls. Fed up, Weisman said one of the Times’ social media gurus forwarded a compendium of some of those tweets to Twitter on Monday.

In one tweet, Weisman was referred to as a “kike.” Another threatened to have him put “in the oven.”

Weisman said that Twitter responded by saying the tweets didn’t violate the company’s rules and none of the users would be suspended.

By late Wednesday morning, however, Twitter appeared to change course. The two accounts that Weisman linked to earlier in the day have since been suspended.

Weisman said that, although his complaints have clearly been heard, it is still a mystery why some users get booted and others do not.

“I started getting notifications from Twitter that accounts are being suspended as soon as I said I was quitting Twitter, so yes, somebody is listening,” Weisman told CNNMoney in an email. “Not all the accounts that I reported, however, are being blocked. I really don’t understand what is deemed acceptable and what is over the line.”

Weisman isn’t sure if he will abandon Twitter for good. The company’s actions on Wednesday suggest they don’t want to lose him.

“They seem to be trying to get me back already,” Weisman said.

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