#NoSafeSpaceForJewHate trends at #1 on Twitter following Wiley’s antisemitic tirade

Figures including David Lammy and the Chief Rabbi stage 48-hour ‘walkout’ over Twitter’s handling of grime rapper’s tweets


The hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate is trending at number one in the UK on Twitter as part of a boycott of the platform over its handling of grime rapper Wiley’s account following an extended stream of antisemitic tweets.

A group of high-profile Jewish people including Tracy-Ann Oberman and historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore instigated the 48-hour “walkout” from the platform over its handling of the artist’s Twitter account.

After his account was briefly suspended, he was back tweeting on Saturday, until being banned from Twitter for seven days.

Ms Oberman explained that “Social media sites MUST take their anti-racist remits seriously”, while Mr Sebag-Montefiore claimed that “Twitter refuses to act against Wiley & others who spread anti-Jewish racism”.

The campaign has gained the support of celebrity judge Rob Rinder, Luciana Berger and the Music Producers Guild.

On Friday, Wiley released a stream of tweets, including claims that there are "2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to undestand [sic] why.”

He also wrote: “Hold some corn Jewish community you deserve it”. The phrase “hold corn” is slang for being shot, something which the Campaign Against Antisemitism says it has reported to the police as incitement to racial hatred.

Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs and Eddie Marsan joined the boycott. Mr Isaacs wrote: “I’m so used to antisemitic hatred, caricature and conspiracy theories from governments, looneytunes, the left, right and reasonable middle that I long ago lost hope for change online or in life.”

The Chief Rabbi also said he would be suspending his use of social media for the period in a letter to Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Instagram’s parent company Facebook. 

“For too long, social media has been a safe space for those who peddle hatred and prejudice,” he told Mr Dorsey. “This cannot be allowed to stand. Your innaction amounts to complicity.”

Politicians including Shadow Minister for Mental Health Rosena Allin-Khan, Liberal Democrat leadership candidate Layla Moran and former Tory education minister Robert Halfon have all joined the walkout – as well as the official accounts of the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats.

David Lammy, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, tweeted the Martin Luther King Jr quote: “My people were brought to America in chains. Your people were driven here to escape the chains fashioned for them in Europe. Our unity is born of our common struggle... to make oppression of any people by others an impossibility.”

New Statesman journalist Stephen Bush – who is also currently chairing the Board of Deputies’ commission on racial inequality – also tweeted his support for the cause, stating it was “good news for people sick of my bad tweets: Twitter’s toleration of harassment, from the Didn’t Happen brigade dogpiling parents to open racism on its platform has got beyond a joke.”

The Community Security Trust criticised the platform for allowing the tirade to continue unchecked for several hours, calling for tougher regulations.

It has, along with others including the Campaign Against Antisemitism, reported the incident to the Met Police, who have since said they are investigating the rapper, whose real name is Richard Cowie Jr.

Home secretary Priti Patel denounced the tweets, saying they “should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long and I have asked them for a full explanation.

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

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