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Facebook, Instagram suspend UK rapper Wiley as he continues anti-Semitic rants

Rapper threatens to come to a largely Jewish-populated neighborhood of London and singles out Jewish public figures who have been critical of him

Grime music artist Wiley during an event in London, October 18, 2017. (Ian West/PA via AP)
Grime music artist Wiley during an event in London, October 18, 2017. (Ian West/PA via AP)

The influential British rapper Wiley, suspended from Twitter after posting a series of anti-Semitic messages there, moved his social media rants about Jews to Facebook, where he threatened to come to a largely Jewish-populated neighborhood of London and singled out Jewish public figures who have been critical of him.

Facebook and Instagram promptly suspended his account on Tuesday, saying his posts violate its policies, according to UK media reports.

“There is no place for hate speech on Facebook and Instagram,” a company spokesperson told the Guardian. “After initially placing Wiley’s accounts in a seven day block, we have now removed both his Facebook and Instagram accounts for repeated violations of our policies.”

“Golders green yes see you soon I will come on my own,” Wiley wrote, referencing the largely Jewish-populated London neighborhood.

“Who called the police? Are you from Golders Green? I am coming to sit down with you in Golders Green …” he added, according to Britain’s Jewish News, which captured screen shots of the comments.

On Friday, Wiley had tweeted comments such as “I don’t care about Hitler, I care about black people.”

In response to Jewish comedian David Baddiel, who said in a radio interview that “there has not been anyone with such an enormous platform” who has come at the Jewish community “so blatantly before,” Wiley said “Cos everyone was scared that’s why.”

Several of the posts were deleted hours later, the Jewish News reported. The posts are scattered throughout others that attack slavery and discrimination against Blacks.

The new messages come after the rapper, whose name is Richard Kylea Cowie, posted a series of anti-Semitic messages on Twitter on Friday, leading his Jewish manager to quit. Twitter deleted several of the tweets, saying they violated the platform’s rules, and suspended Wiley.

Wiley responded on Facebook that as “soon as I get back on Twitter it’s gonna be peak.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews president, Marie van der Zyl, called on Facebook to remove Wiley from the platform in a statement earlier on Tuesday.

Facebook had also faced pressure from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to act against Wiley.

Johnson believes the grime artist’s messages were “abhorrent” and warned that “social media companies need to go much further and faster in removing hateful content,” his spokesman told the Daily Mail.

Illustrative: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis gives a speech as he attends a Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony at Central Hall Westminster, January 27, 2015. (AP/Chris Jackson)

Mirvis accused Twitter and Facebook of “complicity” in online anti-Semitism on Sunday, charging that the two social media giants’ “inaction” had allowed hate to flourish on their platforms.

“For too long, social media has been a safe space for those who peddle hatred and prejudice,” Mirvis wrote in letters sent to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is Jewish.

On Monday, Mirvis joined a host of British politicians, celebrities, high-profile figures and other users who signed off of Twitter for two days to protest anti-Semitic hate on the social media platform.

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