Wiley guy? Nope, he's an antisemite...

The story of Wiley, the Twitter 'silence', and selective anger about social media.

Let’s begin with a definition:

Defamation is the oral or written communication of a false statement about another that unjustly harms their reputation and usually constitutes a tort or crime.

Wiley is an antisemite.

There is no false statement in the sentence above. Wiley, the Grime artist formerly known as the ‘godfather’ of the scene long ago soiled what reputation he had with social media outbursts and an embarrassing clash with Stormzy, but his long and sustained hate attack on Jewish people — a string of tweets followed by further hatred posted on Facebook, have shown him to be meritless. The man is a racist and an adherent of every offensive conspiracy theory going.

Facebook has now removed Wiley from its platform, shutting down his Facebook and Instagram accounts. A company spokesperson said: “There is no place for hate speech on Facebook and Instagram. 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.”

Good.

Wiley’s Twitter account remains live. The slowness of Twitter’s response — hardly surprising from a company that has often struggled to dump Nazis off the platform — led to a patchily-supported ‘silence’ protest where prominent (and less prominent) Twitter users left the platform for 48 hours.

Supporters of the boycott included Gary Lineker, Alan Sugar, and a number of MPs. Twitter does need to take stronger action on antisemitism, but also other forms of racism too. The site is rife with anti-blackness, Jew-hatred, hatred directed at Gypsys, Travellers and Roma people, hatred directed at disabled people, hatred focused on Asian people… bigotry of all kinds.

On the day that the silent protest began, The Times published the column that I photographed for the following tweet:

When does the boycott of The Times begin?

Because Clare Foges has, repeatedly, written dehumanising columns about Travellers.

When does the boycott of The Sun, The Daily Mail, and The Times begin?

Because all of those papers have published racially-coded articles about Meghan Markle just this week.

We know the answer. Those boycotts will not come, because those boycotts would hurt the big names where it matters: Their bank balances.

Twitter and other social media sites are the biggest rivals for newspapers. They take away reading time and provide an alternative way of accessing news. Of course, newspapers focus on abuse, harassment and racism on social media while trafficking it in their own pages. It’s a business decision.

Anti-racism campaigner David Baddiel.

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