A bevy of actors and other public figures have announced that they will partake in a digital walkout on Twitter, saying that it has been negligent in managing hate speeches on its platform.
The incident that sparked this 48 hour boycott of the platform was a series of antisemitic posts that the British rapper Wiley posted on his personal Twitter and Instagram account. Wiley was well respected for his tenure; in 2018, he was honored by Prince William for his contribution to music.
Although the problematic posts were removed, both British government officials and Wiley’s colleagues condemned the social networking platforms for being too slow when dealing with hate speech such as this one.
As of now, it is reported that the rapper has been blocked from accessing his account across the board from Twitter to Facebook. In a public statement, Facebook representatives emphasized that Instagram (made by Facebook) is no platform for hate, and said the posts violated regulations.
Twitter announced that it did the same, saying that some of the tweets along with Wiley’s access to his account has been blocked. Mentioning that Twitter has its own Hateful Conduct Policy, the spokesperson said any content that promotes violence to anyone will be censored.
However, the British Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel said that the punishments were not quick enough. She blamed the oversight from the companies, saying that the horrible posts that Wiley uploaded should not have been left public for so long.
Various hashtags that called for users to cease using Twitter for a certain amount of time as a protest against its negligence has gained steam as some public figures joined in on the movement.
Jason Isaacs, well known for playing Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” films was one of the figures to join the action. Describing how anti-semitism is so pervasive from old cartoons to conspiracy theories, Isaacs said he hopes this movement can bring a change.
Some public organizations such as the Royal Academy also joined in on the walkout. Meanwhile, Wiley’s management company has announced it will terminate all contracts it had with the rapper, saying that they will not condone antisemitism from anyone.
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