Wiley's Facebook and Instagram accounts deactivated after antisemitic remarks

Move comes following criticism from Priti Patel and UK’s chief rabbi over social media companies’ inaction

Facebook has announced that it has deactivated Wiley’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, after the grime MC posted a series of antisemitic comments on his social media accounts.

“There is no place for hate speech on Facebook and Instagram,” a company spokesperson said. “After initially placing Wiley’s accounts in a seven day block, we have now removed both his Facebook and Instagram accounts for repeated violations of our policies.”

Wiley, who helped pioneer grime and was awarded an MBE in 2018, drew widespread condemnation with his rant on Twitter, where he compared Jews with the Ku Klux Klan, and described them as snakes. He was dropped by his management company, but his social media platforms stayed active.

Facebook’s decision increases pressure on Twitter, who have temporarily suspended the grime star but not banned him. A number of prominent users, including Greenpeace UK, Gary Lineker, Alan Sugar and various MPs, have started a 48-hour boycott of Twitter to push for stronger action on antisemitism.

Wiley originally made the comments on the platform, later switching to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, to discuss them and share videos of his week-long temporary Twitter suspension. He later made additional comments on Facebook, saying: “Black people we have always been below them in their eyes ... Why do certain people from other races want us below them?” On Instagram, he shared a conspiracy theory again linking Jews and the Ku Klux Klan.

His Twitter profile remains live, with the antisemitic remarks removed but other defiant statements remaining.

On Monday, the UK’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, told Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter in a letter: “Your inaction amounts to complicity. I urge you to take swift action to challenge the hatred that currently thrives on your platform.”

The home secretary, Priti Patel, said: “Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms.”

Contributor

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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