Celebrities, Politicians, Cultural Institutions, LGBT Groups, Muslim and Christian Groups Join Social Media Boycott Over Antisemitism
Thousands of prominent figures and organizations in the United Kingdom joined a boycott of Twitter and Instagram that lasted 48 hours starting on Monday morning in response to antisemitism on the social media platforms.
The boycott was promoted under #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate, which participants shared on their social media pages along with an image that called out Twitter’s “inaction on anti-Jewish racism” after the platform, as well as other social media giants, failed to properly react to an antisemitic tirade by British rapper Wiley that took place on Twitter on Friday.
— Royal Academy (@royalacademy) July 27, 2020
British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused Facebook and Twitter of “complicity” in antisemitism through “inaction” in separate letters to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He said “the woeful lack of responsible leadership … cannot be allowed to stand.”
“Free speech is an essential cornerstone of any civilised society, but when it is used to incite hatred and violence against others, social media companies have a responsibility to act and must do so without delay,” Mirvis added. “Your inaction amounts to complicity. I urge you to take swift action to challenge the hatred that currently thrives on your platform.”
— Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) July 26, 2020
Labour MP Afzal Khan wrote on Twitter before the boycott began, “I’ll be boycotting Twitter for 48 hrs in #solidarity with the Jewish community This platform is rife with racism & far too slow to act. From anti-Semitism to Islamophobia, @Twitter has allowed hate speech to go unchallenged for too long. Enough is enough.”
The organizations that joined the boycott included The Royal Opera House; the British charity Teach First; the LGBT Foundation; and Stonewall, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity in the UK.
We will not be posting on Twitter for the next 48 hours, in solidarity with the Jewish community against hate speech.
Twitter and other social media platforms need to do better to stamp out hatred and become safer and more inclusive environments.#NoSafeSpaceForJewHate
— Teach First (@TeachFirst) July 27, 2020
Others who participated in the protest included Ghanem Nuseibeh, chairman of Muslims Against Anti-Semitism; Sayeeda Warsi, member of the House of Lords; British TV star Rachel Riley; musicians Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Jessie Ware; actress Tracy Ann Oberman; comedian Matt Forde, actors Eddie Marsan and Jason Isaacs; Irish actress Bronagh Waugh;mentalist Chris Cox; and Pastor John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel.
Im standing in solidarity with Jewish friends and colleague & taking part in the Twitter silence. ✊🏽💕
There should be no space for racism and inciting hatred against communities on social networks@Twitter @TwitterUK #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate#StrenghInUnity https://t.co/HC0b0GTteG
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) July 27, 2020
— Tracy-Ann Oberman (@TracyAnnO) July 27, 2020
The Labour party said while it supports the boycott, it could not “afford to be absent from social media platforms.”
As the official opposition, our duty is to hold the Government to account. We cannot afford to be absent from social media platforms.
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) July 26, 2020