Twitter says sorry for slow reaction to Wiley's anti-Semitic posts

Twitter says sorry for being slow to react over Wiley’s anti-Semitic posts as grime star is finally banned from site SIX DAYS after diatribe sparked 48-hour walkout by users in protest

  • Musician was widely condemned for a series of Twitter posts starting on Friday
  • Wiley, whose real name was Richard Cowie, was initially given a temporary ban 
  • But the platform today apologised and said it had permanently suspended him 
  • Social networks have faced criticism for not acting sooner to take down content

Twitter has said sorry for being slow to react over Wiley’s anti-Semitic posts as the grime star was finally banned from the site six days after his diatribe sparked a 48-hour walkout by users in protest. 

The musician, whose real name is Richard Cowie, was widely condemned for a series of posts on the social media platform starting on Friday, and was initially given a temporary ban, with the majority of his tweets remaining visible.

But Twitter said today it had permanently suspended him and is ‘continuing to assess the situation internally’.

Grime star Wiley, pictured, was permanently suspended from Twitter today six days after his series of anti-Semitic posts sparked a 48-hour walkout by users in protest

A company spokesperson said: ‘Upon further investigation, our teams have permanently suspended the account in question for repeated violations of our hateful conduct policy.

‘Let us be clear: hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service and we strongly condemn antisemitism. We are sorry we did not move faster and are continuing to assess the situation internally. ‘

The company added: ‘We deeply respect the concerns shared by the Jewish community and online safety advocates, and we will continue to work closely with government, NGOs, civil society partners and our industry peers to tackle antisemitism on Twitter.’

The Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomed the news that ‘Twitter has finally listened’, but said the action was ‘too little too late’.

It said in a statement: ‘It is at least a start for this deeply irresponsible social network.

‘After Twitter’s abysmal response to the blatant ant-Jewish incitement on its platform, last night we decided to literally shine a light on the company and project onto its London headquarters some of the hateful tweets that Twitter permits on its platform.

‘From their pitiful responses to the hate spewed daily on their platform, it is evident that social media companies will stop at nothing to make a profit. It is time for these deeply damaging and irresponsible companies to be held accountable for the hatred they help spread.’

Yesterday the group protested outside the social media company’s London office, projecting on to the building a message that read: ‘Twitter, we are all sick of your mess. CLEAN IT UP!’

Wiley’s account, above, was permanently suspended today. Twitter apologised for ‘not moving faster’ and said they are ‘continuing to assess the situation internally’

Social networks have faced criticism for not acting sooner to take down the content, with Downing Street saying their response ‘has not been good enough’.

The Facebook and Instagram accounts of grime star Wiley were finally removed yesterday, after the musician had been suspended from the sites for seven days over the posts.

But Twitter and Instagram’s alleged slowness to act prompted politicians, celebrities and other prominent names to carry out a 48-hour walkout from both platforms, using the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate. 

It comes after Wiley launched a number of attacks on the Jewish community over the weekend, including posting a video on Friday telling Jews to ‘crawl out from under your little rocks.’ 

Wiley shared a series of anti-Semitic posts on the social media site starting on Friday. The comments made on Twitter and Instagram are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police

He also shared a conspiracy theory to Instagram about Jews funding and creating the Klu-Klux Klan, which still appears on his page despite claims from the social media platform that they have deleted hate speech content from his account.

Metropolitan Police are investigating the comments made on Twitter and Instagram, which prompted Wiley’s management company to severe ties with him. 

Wiley also took aim at Priti Patel during his two-day rant, after the Home Secretary described his anti-Semitic posts as ‘abhorrent.’

‘They should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long and I have asked them for a full explanation,’ she said.

Yesterday the Campaign Against Antisemitism protested outside Twitter’s London office, projecting a message onto the social media company’s building

‘Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms.’

Appearing to post in response, Wiley said: ‘Priti Patel, you wanna see me?’ 

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: ‘It appears that Twitter has now suspended the account of Richard Cowie, or Wiley, six days after he began an extended anti-Semitic rant and nearly all the way through a 48-hour walkout from Twitter by the Jewish community and its allies.

‘Instagram was also slow on this, deleting his profile only yesterday. It is just not good enough. Social media companies have not been strong or fast enough about tackling racism, misogyny or homophobia.

‘We will be talking to Twitter today, and other social media companies and government partners over the coming days, to make sure this does not happen again. There must be #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate.’

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