People are boycotting Twitter for 48 hours - here's why

Monday, 27th July 2020, 3:21 pm
Updated Monday, 27th July 2020, 3:21 pm
Wiley posted a series of tweets targeting the Jewish community (Getty Images)
Wiley posted a series of tweets targeting the Jewish community (Getty Images)

Politicians, celebrities and other high-profile figures began a 48-hour boycott of social media sites Facebook and Twitter this morning.

Both sites have been heavily criticised for their slow response to anti-semitic posts by grime artist Wiley.

Using the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate, a number of high-profile Twitter users have announced their support for the boycott of the sites in protest over the company's handling of the incident.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is among those criticising the silicon valley giants.

She said: "social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms."

Why are people boycotting social media?

In the wake of Wiley's posts, calls to boycott Twitter and Facebook began circulating due to their inaction.

A widely circulated picture featuring an emoji with a zipped mouth read: Silence talks. Starting Monday 27th at 9am leave Twitter for 48 hours to protest their inaction on anti-Jewish racism #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate

MP Jess Phillips was among those who tweeted support for the movement.

She said: "From 9am tomorrow I am joining the boycott of @Twitter for 48 hours to protest their inaction on antisemitism. This platform has been a safe haven for hate speech for too long. @jack must act #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate"

What did Wiley say?

Wiley unleashed a stream of abuse targeting the Jewish community on Friday and Saturday.

Posting to his nearly 500k followers the rapper compared Jewish people to snakes and cowards, while claiming they were at war with the black community.

He also suggested that they deserved to be shot and claimed they were responsible for the slave trade.

The rapper drew comparisons between Jewish people and the KKK, stating: “There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to understand why. Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law… Work that out.”

He also repeatedly claimed that Jewish people controlled wealth. A common antisemitic trope has been to label Jewish people as greedy and wrongly claim that they hold a disproportionate amount of power and wealth.

At one point he stated: “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.”

How was Wiley punished?

Twitter removed some of the rapper's tweets alongside a note saying that he had breached their rules, however some tweets were still visible 12 hours after he posted them.

In total 38 tweets were removed.

They later said that Wiley had been banned from the platform for seven days.

Facebook, who own Instagram, later revealed that they had banned the performer from their platform for seven days.

Police are now investigating the comments.