Police have launched an investigation after a Jewish journalist was subjected to antisemitic abuse for tweeting that he had read a pro-LGBT story book to his nieces.
Benjamin Cohen, CEO of PinkNews, tweeted that he had “been busy reading a lovely gay inclusive book to my three and one-year-old nieces”.
The book was King & King, which tells the story of a prince who finds a same-sex partner.
Been busy reading a lovely gay inclusive book to my 3 and 1-year-old nieces ? pic.twitter.com/hKbfnSa5wt
— Benjamin Cohen (@benjamincohen) May 29, 2016
His message prompted a string of antisemitic comments from Twitter users.
One tweet read: “If all Jews would go gay and lesbian we’d all be happy. Would save on our gas bill later.” Another tweeter wrote: “This is why your people get Shoah’d”.
Other comments accused Mr Cohen of “sexual perversion” and “paedophilia” for reading the book to his nieces, with one follower tweeting: “You should be arrested for child abuse”.
Mr Cohen said he had never before experienced abuse on such a scale, adding that it was an example of the problem of hate speech on social media.
According to PinkNews, he said: “Although I’ve occasionally received homophobic and antisemitic tweets before, it has never been on the scale that I have received in the past 24 hours.
“What shocks me the most is not that people are so homophobic or antisemitic but rather that the tweets to me were written by people whose Twitter timelines are filled with similar vile attacks to other people.
“This clearly illustrates the huge problem that Twitter has in dealing with and policing hate speech.”
The Metropolitan Police are currently investigating the tweets.