Twitter suspends grime artist Wiley's account after antisemitic tirade

The Board of Deputies said that the time taken to act by Twitter was 'just not good enough'


British rapper Wiley poses on the red carpet arriving for the BRIT Awards 2017 in London on February 22, 2017. / AFP / NIKLAS HALLE'N / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION, NO POSTERS, NO USE IN PUBLICATIONS DEVOTED TO ARTISTS (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

Twitter has apologised and permanently suspended the account of grime artist Wiley for antisemitic remarks made on the platform.

The move followed a Jewish-led 48-hour boycott of the American social media platform by users for what they saw as insufficient action against the artist.

On Friday, Wiley wrote tweets comparing Jews to the Ku Klux Klan, and saying that Jews controlled states' money and that the Jewish community "would do anything to ruin a black man's life". 

He also wrote: "I don't care about Hitler, I care about black people."   

Twitter had previously given Wiley a seven-day suspension and removed most offending tweets.

Critics had said that Twitter was not following its own policies of suspending accounts that breach its ‘hateful conduct’ policy.

“We are sorry that we didn’t move faster and are continuing to assess the situation internally,” Twitter said in a statement.

“Let us be clear,” the statement said, “hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service and we strongly condemn antisemitism.”

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

Wiley, who had also made antisemitic remarks on Facebook and Instagram, had his accounts on those platforms permanently deleted on Tuesday.

Facebook said that it had suspended the artists’ accounts for “repeated violations” of its terms of use and because there was “no space for hate speech” on its platforms.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said that while Twitter had “finally listened” that the closure of the account was “too little too late”.

The Board of Deputies echoed the remarks, saying: “It is just not good enough. Social media companies have not been strong or fast enough about tackling racism, misogyny or homophobia.”

The Board statement added: “We will be talking to Twitter today, and other social media companies and government partners over the coming days, to make sure that this does not happen again.”

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