Wiley banned from Facebook and Instagram after anti-Semitic posts

Thursday, 30 Jul, 2020

The grime artist had been widely condemned for posting a series of anti-Semitic remarks on Twitter and Instagram on Friday and Saturday.Social media networks have been accused of not reacting soon enough to take down the content, with Downing Street also wading into the debate.

The Countdown host wrote: "Out", followed by a zipping mouth emoji, in reference to her silence on social media.

Facebook and Instagram said on Tuesday they were banning Wiley, the stage name of Richard Cowie, who is considered a pioneer of the UK's popular grime music scene.

Those taking part have vowed not to tweet - or use Twitter at all - from Monday morning to Wednesday morning, reflecting the 48 hours of inaction they accuse Twitter of.

Among the entities participating in the freeze are the American Jewish Committee, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Leadership Council of the United Kingdom and the Holocaust Educational Trust in the United Kingdom.

In several Tweets, Wiley stated he is the reason "Jews are rich". Wiley claimed in these tweets that Jews had usurped black people as the Hebrews, a conspiracy theory that has led to acts of terrorism against Jews, such as the stabbing attack in Monsey in NY in December 2019.

"Why on earth have @Twitter left up such blatant antisemitism and hatred?" They added that they reported him to the Metropolitan Police and asked that his account be suspended.

"As mentioned before, we will also be urging Twitter to permanently ban Wiley", Van der Zyl said, "especially as he as he made it clear earlier today that he intends to exhibit even worse behavior when allowed back onto the platform. Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms", she said.

That's why it's so important that social media platforms clearly define antisemitism in all its forms.

In a letter to the technology companies' chief executives Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, Mirvis said "the woeful lack of responsible leadership from companies including Twitter and Facebook ... can not be allowed to stand". Indeed, Mirvis sent a almost identical letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. But it said it had decided to now make the ban permanent and wipe all his past posts from its platform "upon further consideration". It can give voice to the voiceless, help bring democracy to those in dictatorships and amplify ideas that unite us. Most of the posts spread anti-Semitic tropes. Despite breaching Twitter's hate speech policies, his hateful messages continue to reach literally hundreds of thousands of people, and have been shared by celebrities such as Diddy, also known as Puff Daddy, and DJax.

The force said in a statement: "The Met takes all reports of antisemitism extremely seriously".

While the effort is underway, a number of posters have used the hashtag to promote other agendas. But since that time, other people and organisations have joined, including the accounts of Greenpeace UK, the Royal Opera House, the pop group McFly, sports broadcaster Gary Lineker, as well as members of the public.