London Mayor Sadiq Khan has released a video reading out a selection of abusive tweets he has received in a call for more to be done to stop hate speech online.
In the style of US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets feature, the video begins in a jovial and lighthearted fashion, with tweets saying Khan looks like various animals and a bad stunt double of Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho.
It’s time to act on hate speech.
March 12, 2018
However, the comments quickly turn nasty. The next tweet reads: “I say KILL the Mayor of London and you will be rid of ONE Muslim terrorist”.
He reads on, with many tweets featuring Islamophobic comments.
At the end of the video, Khan says: “I don’t read this out to be portrayed as a victim, but I worry about what happens when young boys and girls from minority backgrounds see this kind of thing on their social media timelines or experience it themselves.”
He goes on to talk about women being driven from social media platforms, election influencing and the spread of fake news and extreme views, asking people to use the hashtag #EndTheHate to spread awareness.
And I’m very happy to call him my Mayor.
It’s sad that the abuse never stops, not only to Sadiq but to other prominent BAME politicians like Diane Abbott who receives the most online abuse. Something must be done about this. #EndTheHate— Zainab (@z_zxzx_z) March 12, 2018
These comments speak more about the twisted mindset of the individuals who write them then bare any reflection on you and the work you do. But hate speech is a massive problem that's on the rise. Glad to spread the message #endthehate— Rachel Munnoch (@munn_r) March 12, 2018
The video was released following a speech by the mayor at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, in which he called on social media giants to do more to tackle abuse on their platforms.