Wiley: Priti Patel probes Twitter and Instagram delay in removing ‘appalling’ posts
The home secretary requested a “full explanation” from Twitter and Instagram about why rapper Wiley’s anti-Semitic posts were not removed more quickly.
Police are investigating a series of posts about the artist grime’s social media accounts. It was temporarily banned from Twitter and Instagram.
Priti Patel said the posts are anti-Semitic and “disgusting”.
“Social media companies need to act much faster to remove such frightening hatred from their platforms,” he said.
Wiley, 41, known as the “filth godfather”, shared conspiracy theories and insulted Jews on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, which together have more than 940,000 followers.
Twitter removed some of Wiley’s tweets on a note stating that they had violated his rules, but other tweets were still visible 12 hours after they were posted. He later said that Wiley’s account had been blocked for seven days.
Facebook – who owns Instagram – said Sunday that the platform had blocked the rapper from his account for seven days and that “there was no place for hate speech on Instagram.”
But London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that the steps taken by Twitter and Instagram were not enough.
In a letter to the heads of the two social media companies, he said that when the material was published on their platforms, “the answer – its removal and ban on those responsible – should be immediate.
“It takes a few minutes for content shared on your platform to reach an audience of millions of people. When someone influential shares hatred speeches, it could have an impact on the opinions of many who respect them at the time.”
Khan said it was “particularly daunting” when social media had a “positive role in amplifying the vital voices” of the Black Lives Matter movement recently.
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Wiley’s post series began on Friday night and her manager John Woolf’s initial response was that, having known the artist for 12 years, “she doesn’t really feel that way.”
But Woolf said on Saturday that he had “cut all ties” with the London-born rapper and that “there is no place in society for anti-Semitism.”
Wiley entered the singles charts in the UK for the first time with Wearing My Rolex in 2008. His later hits include Heatwave in 2012 and Boasty in 2019, a collaboration with rappers Stefflon Don and Sean Paul and actor Idris Elba .