Facebook and Instagram suspend UK rapper Wiley as he continues antisemitic rants

The influential British rapper Wiley, suspended from Twitter after posting a series of antisemitic messages there, moved his social media rants about Jews to Facebook, where he threatened to come to a largely Jewish-populated neighbourhood of London and singled out Jewish public figures who have been critical of him.

Facebook and Instagram promptly suspended his account, saying his posts violate its policies, according to UK media reports.

“There is no place for hate speech on Facebook and Instagram,” a company spokesperson told the Guardian. “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.”

“Golders green yes see you soon I will come on my own,” Wiley wrote, referencing the largely Jewish-populated London neighbourhood.

“Who called the police? Are you from Golders Green? I am coming to sit down with you in Golders Green …” he added.

Wiley had tweeted comments such as “I don’t care about Hitler, I care about black people.”

In response to Jewish comedian David Baddiel, who said in a radio interview that “there has not been anyone with such an enormous platform” who has come at the Jewish community “so blatantly before,” Wiley said “Cos everyone was scared that’s why.”

Several of the posts were deleted hours later, the Jewish News reported. The posts are scattered throughout others that attack slavery and discrimination against Blacks.

The new messages come after the rapper, whose name is Richard Kylea Cowie, posted a series of antisemitic messages on Twitter, leading his Jewish manager to quit. Twitter deleted several of the tweets, saying they violated the platform’s rules, and suspended Wiley.

Wiley responded on Facebook that as “soon as I get back on Twitter it’s gonna be peak.”

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the country’s EJC affiliate, called on Facebook to remove Wiley from the platform in a statement.

Facebook had also faced pressure from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to act against Wiley.

Johnson believes the grime artist’s messages were “abhorrent” and warned that “social media companies need to go much further and faster in removing hateful content,” his spokesman told the Daily Mail.

Mirvis accused Twitter and Facebook of “complicity” in online anti-Semitism on Sunday, charging that the two social media giants’ “inaction” had allowed hate to flourish on their platforms.

“For too long, social media has been a safe space for those who peddle hatred and prejudice,” Mirvis wrote in letters sent to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.


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