Communal leaders have written to social media giants Twitter and Facebook, urging them to take action against “unadulterated hatred” in wake of rapper Wiley’s antisemitic ranting.
The Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust wrote to the firms demanding to know why antisemitic content by the grime artist remained online – and viewable to his near half-a-million followers on both Twitter and Instagram.
This comes after a police investigation was launched into Wiley’s posts last week, and his management company dropping him. After Twitter suspended his account for seven days, Wiley he turned to Facebook on Tuesday, saying he would come to Golders Green.
Facebook has since removed Wiley’s personal account, under his real name Richard Kylea Cowie Jr.
In the letters to Dara Nasr, Managing Director of Twitter and Nick Clegg, Vice-President of Global Affairs and Communications Facebook, the three organisations said: “The propagation of anti-Jewish conspiracies and glorification of violence were almost certainly in breach of existing UK laws but without question broke your community standards and terms of service. For the duration of his outburst, not only was your platform not a safe space for Jews but through your delayed action – many people, including young people, were able to see the posts.”
The letters, signed by Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl, incoming Chief Executive of the CST Mark Gardner, and JLC Chair Jonathan Goldstein on “what went wrong; how they will stop a repeat of this shameful episode; and how they intend to address the wider impact of hate speech on their platforms.”
The three organisations are observing a 48 hour social media silence until Wednesday as a protest against the lack of any meaningful response to antisemitism.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Board of Deputies called on Facebook to remove Wiley from the site.
Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl welcomed Facebook’s decision to delete the account of Wiley: “This sends a strong message to those who believe that they can use social media platforms to spread hate and we hope that this is just the beginning of a crackdown on those who do so.
“As mentioned before, we will also be urging Twitter to permanently ban Wiley, especially as he as he made it clear on earlier today that he intends to exhibit even worse behaviour when allowed back onto the platform. Indeed, he should now be banned from all social media platforms.
“As with Facebook, this is part of a larger conversation on racist, misogynistic and homophobic accounts, which have been allowed to operate with impunity for far too long.”