Boris Johnson condemns Wiley’s ‘abhorrent’ anti-Semitic rant and criticises Twitter’s response

Boris Johnson has condemned Wiley’s anti-Semitic rant and said Twitter’s response to the rapper’s diatribe was not good enough.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Social media companies need to go much further and faster in removing hateful content such as this.

“The message is clear: Twitter needs to do better on this.”

He said Mr Johnson shared Home Secretary Priti Patel’s view that the social media posts were “abhorrent”.

Ms Patel has written to Twitter and Instagram seeking an explanation and saying the Government expects a full response.

Mr Johnson is not joining a boycott of Twitter in response to the furore because of the need to communicate “important public health messages”.

The spokesman added: “But at the same time we have set out very clearly that Twitter’s performance has not been good enough in response to the anti-Semitic comments made by Wiley and it needs to do much better.”

Police are investigating a series of comments made on the Grime musician’s Instagram and Twitter accounts on Friday.

He was subsequently dropped by his management and handed a seven-day Twitter ban for violating its “hateful conduct policy” after sharing a string of tweets.

Twitter also faced criticism for allowing some of the tweets to remain visible for more than 12 hours after they were first posted.

A number of tweets made by Wiley’s account, which has almost 500,000 followers, have now been removed.

The UK’s Chief Rabbi has accused Facebook and Twitter of lacking “responsible leadership” in their response to the posts.

Ephraim Mirvis said he would join politicians, celebrities and campaigners in a 48-hour boycott of the social media sites from today.

In a statement on the Wiley posts, Twitter said: “Abuse and harassment have no place on our service and we have policies in place – that apply to everyone, everywhere – that address abuse and harassment, violent threats, and hateful conduct.

“If we identify accounts that violate any of these rules, we’ll take enforcement action.”


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