Twitter apologises to Chief Rabbi for ‘slow’ response to hate posts
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Twitter apologises to Chief Rabbi for ‘slow’ response to hate posts

Rabbi Mirvis joined two-day Facebook and Twitter walkout last Monday, with the faith leader accusing social media companies of 'inaction' on challenging hate crime

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

Twitter has apologised to Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Facebook expressed regret earlier this week after the faith leader accused the social media giants of “inaction” on tackling hate.

Rabbi Mirvis joined a 48-hour walkout of both platforms last Monday, after the companies were criticised for the speed of their response to antisemitic posts by Grime artist Wiley.

The rapper, who was made an MBE for his services to music in 2018, was permanently suspended from Twitter and banned from Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter UK’s managing director Dara Nasr apologised to Rabbi Mirvis on Wednesday for the platform’s “slow” response. “We were too slow to remove the Tweets that broke our rules, and we are sorry,” he wrote.

“As an immediate finding of our ongoing assessment of the incident, our team was impacted by the recent security incident, which substantially affected the speed of our response. We have now permanently suspended Wiley,” he added.

Last week’s Jewish News front page

The website, he said, is “acutely aware of the work required to rebuild confidence in our service, and are commencing this immediately.”

Facebook’s global affairs and communications vice president Nick Clegg, meanwhile, personally expressed his “deep regret that you felt it necessary to suspend your activity on our platforms”.

He told Rabbi Mirvis on Wednesday his decision to join the boycott was “fully understandable in light of the antisemitic content that was placed on Instagram and Facebook earlier this week.”

He added: “I recognise that, despite this outcome [Wiley’s ban from Instagram and Facebook], you feel strongly that we should have moved faster when tackling complex and evolving situations like this one.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

“Our teams in the UK have committed to a series of engagements with organisations that campaign against or are affected by antisemitism in Britain.”

Wiley apologised in an interview with Sky News “for generalising and going outside of the people who I was talking to within the workspace and workplace I work in.”

He told the broadcaster: “My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologise for generalising, and I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as antisemitic.

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