UK Rapper Wiley Banned From Twitter Following Anti-Semitism Row & Celebrity Backlash – Update

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UPDATED, 4:30 AM: UK grime artist and rapper Wiley, who prompted outrage last week with a series of anti-Semitic social media posts, has been permanently banned from Twitter. Yesterday, Facebook and its service Instagram also deleted accounts owned by the musician, real name Richard Cowie.

Twitter today also apologized for a delay in its action in combating the offensive messages.

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“Upon further investigation, our teams have permanently suspended the account in question for repeated violations of our hateful conduct policy. Let us be clear: hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service and we strongly condemn antisemitism. We are sorry we did not move faster and are continuing to assess the situation internally,” said the service.

UK national The Guardian also came in for criticism today when, in an opinion piece related to the Wiley story, it used a picture of rapper Kano. The paper has since updated the article with a new image.

PREVIOUSLY, July 27: Outrage over a perceived lack of fast action from Twitter to combat anti-Semitism has resulted in numerous high-profile figures opting to boycott the platform for 48 hours.

The row was sparked by UK grime artist and rapper Wiley, who posted a series of tweets on Friday, as well as posts on other social media sites, that were widely decried as offensive. In the tweets, he cited anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and compared the Jewish community to the Klu Klux Klan.

The rapper was dropped by his reps A-List Management and numerous of the posts have been removed by Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram for violating their terms of service. However, the fact it took around 48 hours for the offensive messages to be taken down has prompted a backlash, with actress and writer Tracy-Ann Oberman leading the charge in calling for a boycott with the hashtags #NoSafePlaceForJewHate and #48HoursSilence.

Numerous figures have joined in by heading off Twitter for two days as of 9am UK time on Monday (July 27). Also onboard are Irvine Welsh, comedian Robert Webb, The Apprentice host Alan Sugar, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and actor Jason Isaacs.

Here are a selection of their tweets:

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