JERUSALEM, Israel – British leaders, celebrities, and politicians are boycotting Twitter for two days starting Monday morning to protest a string of` anti-Semitic tweets from popular UK musical artist Wiley.
Participants are using the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate to promote the 48-hour social media “walkout.” Wiley, whose real name is Richard Cowie, came under fire Friday went he went on an anti-Semitic Twitter tirade accusing Jews of ignoring racism against Black people and exploiting them for money.
“Jewish people don’t care what black went through they just use us to make money to feed their kids… for generations as well,” he wrote in one Tweet.
He also compared the Jewish people to the Ku Klux Klan.
“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 undestand [sic] why … Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law…Work that out,” he said.
In another tweet, he said: “I don’t care about Hitler, I care about black people.”
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He posted several videos to his Instagram account making the same statements.
The artist was quickly dropped by his management company.
"Following Wiley's antisemitic tweets today we at [A-List Management] have cut all ties with him. There is no place in society for antisemitism,” Wiley’s former manager John Woolf posted on Twitter.
“To be very clear here. I do not support or condone what Wiley has said today online in any way shape or form,” Woolf said in a subsequent Tweet.
"I am a proud Jewish man and I am deeply shocked and saddened but what he has chosen to say.”
Wiley’s Twitter account has been temporarily locked and the platform removed some of his tweets for violating its “hateful conduct policy.” But activists are calling for his entire profile to be shut down.
A spokesman for the walkout organizers said in a statement Saturday that Twitter’s response has been “completely inadequate.”
They said the walkout “is to show that the Jewish community and its allies have had enough of platforms like Twitter acting as loudspeakers for antisemitism, amplifying the hatred of Jews to millions of other social media users.”
“Unless there is an immediate change in how Twitter operates then there will be further action, including legal action, against the organization,” the spokesman added.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted Sunday that social media platforms need to be held accountable for how they respond to hateful content online.
“Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms,” she said.
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.
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) July 26, 2020
Luciana Berger, who left Britain's Labour Party last year over allegations of anti-Semitism, also supports the virtual walkout.
“the first time I raised the issue of racism and hate being hosted on @twitter - directly with the company - was in 2014. @twitter’s inaction over the past few days has been shameful. It’s enough. If you think so too, join us on Monday,” she said.
the first time I raised the issue of racism and hate being hosted on @twitter - directly with the company - was in 2014. @twitter’s inaction over the past few days has been shameful. It’s enough. If you think so too, join us on Monday #nosafespaceforjewhate pic.twitter.com/JlYiwYTjTk
— Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) July 25, 2020
The Campaign Against Antisemitism called Wiley’s tweets "conspiracy theories" and "antisemitic venom." The group also asked police to investigate the singer’s social media account to “prevent further outpouring of anti-Jewish venom.”
The UK’s Metropolitan Police said on Saturday that it is investigating Wiley’s statements.
"The Met takes all reports of antisemitism extremely seriously. The relevant material is being assessed."
Thousands of Twitter users have pledged to join the Twitter boycott.