Jewish Organizations, Leaders, Allies to Boycott Twitter, Instagram Over Tepid Response to Rapper’s Antisemitic Rant
A host of Jewish organizations, leaders, and their non-Jewish allies are preparing to boycott Twitter and Instagram after the social media giants failed to react promptly to a ferocious antisemitic rant by the British rapper Wiley.
Using the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate, the boycott will begin Monday morning and continue for 48 hours.
On Friday, Wiley embarked on an elaborate series of antisemitic rants on Twitter and Instagram, in which he said among other things, “Israel is ours,” you cannot “challenge the Jewish community” without losing your job, the Jews are equivalent to the Ku Klux Klan, and that he is “not antisemitic, I am anti-slippery people.”
“I don’t care about Hitler, I care about black people,” he also said, adding of the Jews, “Do you know what these people do to the world?”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ President, Marie van der Zyl, denounced the social media giants, saying, “We in the Jewish community were appalled to see Wiley’s anti-Jewish racist rant carry on for hour after hour with absolutely no intervention from Twitter or Instagram at all.”
“Twitter and Instagram, the latter of which is owned by Facebook, have since acted too little and too late,” she said. “Black Jews, in particular, have been left feeling especially vulnerable.”
“Far too often, we see misogyny, homophobia, and racism against different groups going unchecked on these platforms,” she continued. “This has to change. We are calling for all social media platforms to adopt the international definition of antisemitism; social media companies to have moderators in every country who can understand and interpret offensive language within a local context; a new regulator who can impose punitive fines when social media companies fail to crack down on hate.”
“We hope that the police will prosecute Wiley’s racial hatred and it should go without saying that Wiley should be banned from all social media platforms and his offensive tweets deleted,” she said. “There must be #NoSpaceforJewHate.”
A spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said, “Wiley has been tweeting and instagramming vile antisemitism, including calling for Jews to be shot and for ‘black people’ to go to ‘war’ with Jews. He clearly has deeply-held antisemitic beliefs based on unhinged conspiracy theories that in our experience are indicative of long-term exposure to Jew-hatred.”
“Instead of acting immediately to close down Wiley’s accounts, Twitter and Facebook have decided to protect this racist, with Twitter deleting only a few token tweets and leaving most of Wiley’s incitement to racial hatred online,” the spokesperson said.
“They have decided to allow a racist to continue to use their platforms to reach hundreds of thousands of people,” they added. “That is why we are walking out from these social networks and we are heartened to see so many decent people standing with us in doing the same.”
The Daily Mail reported Sunday that Wiley had been belatedly suspended, though not permanently removed, from both Twitter and Instagram. The suspension will last only seven days. Wiley’s management company has also severed its connections with him and British police have launched an investigation.
The government’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, called Wiley’s rant “abhorrent” and criticized Twitter and Instagram for allowing him to stay active on their platforms.
“I have asked them for a full explanation,” she said, adding that social media companies must act much more swiftly against such hate speech.