FILE - In this file photo Oct. 18, 2017, grime music artist Wiley during an event in London. British Police are investigating after a stream of anti-Semitic comments were posted on Wiley’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, Wiley's management company have dropped the artist, and twitter have banned him for seven days after posts Friday and Saturday July 25, 2020. (Ian West/PA via AP)
tech

Twitter faces backlash over handling of anti-Semitic posts

8 Comments
By DANICA KIRKA

Some Twitter users are staging a 48-hour boycott of the platform over its handling of a stream of anti-Semitic comments that were posted on British rapper Wiley’s social media accounts.

The boycott, under the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate, followed complaints that Twitter was too slow to remove offensive material. Some offensive material was also posted on Instagram.

U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel has written to the social media companies demanding an explanation as to the speed of their response. Some of Wiley’s posts were visible for more than 12 hours before being removed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not take part in the boycott, as he needed to communicate “important public health messages,” his Downing Street office said.

“But at the same time we have set out very clearly that Twitter’s performance has not been good enough in response to the anti-Semitic comments made by Wiley and it needs to do much better,” his spokesman James Slack said.

London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating.

Twitter banned the grime artist for seven days after posts Friday and Saturday. He was also dropped by his management company after he shared the comments, which called Jews “cowards’’ and “snakes,’’ among other things.

The 41-year-old artist, whose real name is Richard Cowie, is known as the Godfather of Grime. He received an MBE for services to music in 2018.

Neither Twitter nor Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, could immediately be reached for comment.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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Why media calls post against Jewish as anti semitic? A semite can also be a Muslim who speaks Arab. Does nobody actually check it out before writing stuff?

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Anti-Semitism. Despicable. How on earth did Twitter let this slide for so long?

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I saw some of the tweets and they were vile. Twitter did nothing for several hours and, eventually, after a lot of complaints, removed some, but most were hate filled, anti Semitic inaccurate tropes which were not removed. Some forms of abuse are allowed on Twitter, some are not.

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Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law… Work that out.”

Oh my ...

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Twitter Japan does nothing about Japanese racists' accounts, on the other hand, they often locked or suspended accounts of people who criticize discrimination or Abe Govt.

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@Tommy Eddy Kookabura

Why media calls post against Jewish as anti semitic? A semite can also be a Muslim who speaks Arab.

That doesn't mean it's inaccurate to describe hate speech against Jewish people as anti-Semitic, as they are in fact Semites.

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"Anti-Semitism. Despicable. How on earth did Twitter let this slide for so long?"

My beef with this statement is based on the value of free speech rights. Voltaire is attributed the quote "I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  Whether or not Voltaire's biographer was accurate or not, that philosophy is the underpinning of western democracy. Expecting social media to censor other people's speech because a majority finds the thoughts express to be objectionable, regardless of the reason, is censorship and is utterly anti-ethical to democracy. Freedom of the press is enshrined in the US Constitution. Today social media is equivalent to the written press of the past. Censoring social media is abhorrent to anyone who values free speech and freedom of expression. Keep in mind in a decade or two your speech, your most cherished ideas might be considered obnoxious to a future majority and thus censored. No, free speech must be the goal. If you don't like what somebody said, come up with a good counter argument. That is how the competition of ideas is supposed to work.

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the value of free speech rights

Freedom of speech should allow speech encouraging hatred, inciting violence, and spreading lies?

No.

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