Grime artist Wiley returns from Twitter ban after anti-Semitism accusations

Grime artist Wiley was given a temporary ban from Twitter and has been dropped by his management company over accusations of anti-Semitism.

The musician posted a screenshot on Instagram on Saturday morning, showing he had been given a temporary Twitter ban but has since been allowed back into his account and has resumed tweeting.

He also posted an Instagram video in which he said “crawl out from under your little rocks and defend your Jewish privilege”.

However, Twitter has been accused of “ignoring anti-Semitism” because his tweets are still visible 12 hours after they were first posted.

His manager John Woolf said A-List Management had “cut all ties” with the musician following the series of social media posts made on accounts belonging to him on Friday.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism has asked police to investigate the content and called for Wiley’s accounts to be shut down “to prevent further outpouring of anti-Jewish venom”.

Mr Woolf, who is Jewish, wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning: “Following Wiley’s antisemitic tweets today we at @A_ListMGMT have cut all ties with him. There is no place in society for antisemitism.”

He had earlier said he did not support or condone what Wiley posted but that he would speak to him privately and “help educate him”.

One post on an unverified Twitter account in Wiley’s name, which Mr Woolf confirmed to the PA news agency belongs to the star, read: “I would challenge the whole world of Jewish community on my own I am not scared I can handle them.”

The social media site has come under fire for allowing the tweets to remain visible.

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

Fellow MP Neil Coyle added: “His management appear able to act quicker than @Twitter emphasising, once again, that legislation (including the Online Harms Bill) should ensure social media platforms are not used to spread hate.”

Independent adviser to the government on anti-Semitism, John Mann, said the tweets “demonstrated precisely why the law needs changing to hold them to reasonable account”.

This is not the first time the social media site has been accused of “allowing racism to run rampant”.

Last week it promoted a viral hashtag which contained numerous anti-Semitic tweets.

Several posts featuring anti-Jewish racism and Holocaust denial were presented to users looking at the hashtag #JewishPrivilege, which trended in the UK earlier in July.

Wiley, known as the Godfather of Grime and whose real name is Richard Cowie, received an MBE for services to music in 2018.

In a statement issued on Friday, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Our Crime Unit has reported this matter to the Metropolitan Police Service as we consider that Wiley has committed the offence of incitement to racial hatred, which can carry a substantial prison sentence.

“We have additionally asked Twitter and Facebook, which owns Instagram, to close down his accounts which have hundreds of thousands of followers, to prevent further outpouring of anti-Jewish venom.”

They added that they would be contacting the Cabinet Office to ask that Wiley’s MBE is revoked.

The spokesperson said: “Wiley has many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and we have seen today that many of them truly believe the unhinged hatred that he is spreading.

“We are treating this as a very serious matter which must be met with the firmest of responses.”

Karen Pollock, the chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “I cannot understand how it is acceptable for someone with nearly 400 000 followers, who influences impressionable young minds, to continue to spout anti-Semitic hate for 12 hours with no intervention from Twitter or the law.

“This stream of racist anti-Jewish posts hurt to the core. There have to be consequences for this sort of incitement. Instead of using his role as a force for good, this rant suggests this musician does the complete opposite.”

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