Anorak

Anorak | Ed Miliband look alike Shereef Abdallah upsets the twitter police

Ed Miliband look alike Shereef Abdallah upsets the twitter police

by | 5th, January 2012

SHEREEF Abdallah is the pro Ed Miliband lookalike and scourge of twitter. The JC says Shaereef Abdallah once worked as a volunteer at Labour MP Glenda Jackson’s office and blogged for the Young Fabians, a Labour Party affiliate group.

Abdallah has been, allegedly, aiming his tweets at a British Israeli woman named “Rachel”. She had upbraided Shareef for his description of his online critics as “Nazis”.

Abdallah, or a tweeter using that name, wrote:

“I will hunt you down & fight you min by min. hr by hr. day by day. wk by wk. month by month. year by year for the rest of yr life.”

But will he make time to tweet?

He then made “a promise” to beat her up.

“I WILL BEAT YOU TO DEATH… R.I.P; THIS IS NOT A THREAT… THAT IS A PROMISE.”

‘Abdallah’ then told a former Labour Party press officer he’d cut his throat, presumably when he was not longer dedicating his life to hunting Rachel.

‘Abdallah’ has also attacked ‘Julia’, of the Blairite blog Julie’s Think Tank. His tweets include:

“Your nightmare is just starting, Julia, it will only get worse for you every day 24/7 till you leave twitter”

“Zionists can’t save you, Julia, the only way to stop it is to leave twitter. Racist tory anti Islamic scum”

“I fear nothing not even death so will fight you and your ilk to my last breath.”

“… are you still alive FFS? You will be next after I end [Rachel]…. that’s a promise. sleep tight”.

The Jewish Chronicle reports:

The JC has been advised not to reveal the identity of the women involved as there is a risk that Mr Abdallah may turn his violent, often sexual fantasies into real acts of violence. Many of his tweets end with the sign-off “R.I.P.”

Julie writes:

Actually, it is too bizarre to be true but I am being stalked and death-threatened by Shereef Abdallah, an anti-Semitic wannabe Ed Miliband “lookalike”.

About two months ago, I first got into contact with him. I did not pick a fight. It was him who intervened in a debate – a civilised one – I had with another Twitter user who strongly disagreed with me over the decision to go to war.

After Mr Abdallah made the serious allegation that the Iraq war was illegal, I politely asked him to explain his position in legal terms and in return offered to explain mine. But instead of engaging in a factual debate, he immediately started to personally insult me. Ignoring his rants, I patiently outlined the significance of UNSCR 1441 in combination with 678 and 687.

Again, Mr Abdallah refused to engage in an argument and instead began to claim I called him a “jihadi”, a remark sent to me not made by me – a small but significant difference. He then “noted and printed” my alleged insults and reported me to Holborn police. They sent him home three times, as he later admitted.

Ever since, he has been sending me aggressive and violent tweets several times per day, many of which he later deleted. According to Mr Abdallah, “Zionists cannot save me” as they “have lost every war since 1973” and indeed “no force on earth” will stop him, including Twitter and the police.

The situation escalated last month, when he turned up at my workplace demanding to see me.

The JC says a psychological profiler who helps the police identify violent offenders, and was approached by the probation officers’ union, Napo,  says there is a “30 per cent chance that Mr Abdallah would turn his threats into real acts of violence”.

Twitter says:

“We have investigated the reported account and have found that it’s not in violation of the Twitter rules at this time. We have a policy against violent threats, but the content of this account lacks the specificity to meet the criteria of an actionable threat.”

Those Twitter rules are on odd thing. There was little outrage when intolerant liberals wanted to have racist tram lady Emma West raped and murdered. It’s almost as if Twitter is not real, but another place where life is 140 characters or fewer and no-one lives. But Julie claims Mr Abdallah arrived at her place of work.

A spokeswoman from Twitter’s “Trust and Safety” department said:

“Websites do not have the ability to investigate and assess a threat, bring charges or prosecute individuals.”

Quite so. But they can turn off their users’ accounts. Can it be right to make threats on twitter that in, say, a magazine would be unacceptable?

Community Security Trust spokesman, Mark Gardner, is unhappy:

“These tweets are a clear example of racist intimidation and threats. We cannot have a situation where modern media is exempt from basic legal protocol.”

Harry Fletcher, of Napo, adds:

“The threat to these women is real, frightening and could escalate. Social media companies need to wake up to their responsibilities and deal with this as a matter of urgency.”

The threat is real. But is the danger? If the threatened stop reading twitter, doesn’t the threat go away? Julie, however, says he came to see her and that “Mr Abdallah’s behaviour is now a matter for the Crown“.

Whatever comes of that, the fact is that the State wants to rein in the Internet. Mark Gardner echoes the wider campaign to ban anonymous posting on the internet – to force people to use their real names, as Google Plus is attempting to do.

In 2009, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said:

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

The attack on Julie and Rachel is cowardly. It is an abuse of the freedom the internet gives us to speak out minds. The question should be, would you back up your online views in the offline world if challenged? That is freedom of speech. The web works so well because it is not the real world where what we say is regimented and controlled. Sadly, too often what passes for free speech online is onanistic, bitchy and vindictive.




Posted: 5th, January 2012 | In: Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink