November 30, 2020

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Future Technology

Wiley permanently suspended by Twitter over anti-Semitism

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Grime artist Wiley has been permanently banned from Twitter, five days after posting anti-Semitic remarks.

It follows a 48-hour boycott of Twitter by many users over what they said had been an unacceptable delay in dealing with the offending tweets.

“We are sorry we did not move faster,” Twitter said in a statement.

The escalation comes a day after Facebook and Instagram deleted the music star’s accounts for “repeated violations” of their rules.

Twitter said that it has taken a similar step because the artist had broken its hateful conduct policy.

The San Francisco-based firm had previously temporarily suspended Wiley and left many of his past tweets visible. But it said it had decided to now make the ban permanent and wipe all his past posts from its platform “upon further consideration”.

“We deeply respect the concerns shared by the Jewish community and online safety advocates,” a statement said, promising to continue to tackle anti-Semitism.

Wiley’s first tweets appeared on Friday night.

One tweet read: “I don’t care about Hitler, I care about black people”, and compared the Jewish community to the Ku Klux Klan.

But Twitter did not delete that or other tweets, or issue its first temporary ban, until later in the weekend.

That prompted the 48-hour boycott of Twitter by many users – including celebrities and MPs – beginning Monday morning. Organisers accused the social network of giving Wiley “48 hours of pure race hate”.

On Tuesday, Facebook issued a ban after Wiley was discovered posting abusive material on his personal page using his real name, Richard Cowie.

Twitter said it had undertaken a thorough investigation before reaching the decision to issue a permanent ban on Wednesday.

Despite the move, advocacy group the Board of Deputies of British Jews said both Twitter and Facebook had been slow to act, adding “it is just not good enough”.

“Social media companies have not been strong or fast enough about tackling racism, misogyny or homophobia,” it said in a statement.

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