Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

‘Must act faster’: Priti Patel demands to know why Twitter and Instagram took so long to remove Wiley’s antisemitic posts

'The antisemitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent. They should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long'

Kate Ng
Sunday 26 July 2020 16:05 BST
Lily Allen says she's 'worried' about Wiley after string of antisemitic tweets

Priti Patel has questioned why social media firms did not act immediately to remove antisemitic tweets posted by grime artist Wiley, in which he shared conspiracy theories and insulted Jewish people on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Home Secretary said she has asked for a “full explanation” from Twitter and Instagram about why the rapper’s offensive comments were allowed to remain on his accounts for 12 hours after they were first posted.

Ms Patel said in a tweet on Sunday: “The antisemitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent. They should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long, and I have asked them for a full explanation.

“Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms.”

Some of Wiley's tweets have now been removed, with a note saying they violate Twitter rules.

Housing minister Robert Jenrick supported Ms Patel’s call for the companies to provide an explanation for the length of time it took to remove the insulting material.

“I was appalled to see Wiley’s antisemitic racist rant on social media yesterday, which should not have been able to remain online for so long,” he tweeted.

Labour MP Jess Philips also weighed in, and said: “Why on earth have Twitter left up such blatant antisemitism and hatred? It his all the dangerous beats, Jews get things you don’t get, they are in control, they think they’re better… This is dangerous stuff. Surely it should come down.”

The posts are being investigated by Metropolitan Police, who said in a statement: “We have received a number of reports relating to alleged anti-Semitic tweets posted on social media. The Met takes all reports of anti-Semitism extremely seriously. The relevant material is being assessed.”

The social media companies are facing backlash for leaving Wiley’s posts on their platforms, with many calling for them to close his accounts completely. Wiley was issued with a seven-day ban from his accounts on both platforms.

Twitter previously said Wiley’s account had been temporarily locked for “violating our hateful conduct policy”. Facebook, which owns Instagram, said there was “no place for hate speech on Instagram”.

A number of MPs, celebrities and campaigners are set to stage a 48-hour “Twitter walkout” from Monday morning to protest the company’s slow action, including Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, historian Simon Schama and TV presenter Rachel Riley.

Twitter and Facebook have been contacted for further comment.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in