Tuesday 28 July 2020 5:10 pm

Facebook and Instagram remove Wiley's accounts after grime star's antisemitic rant

Facebook said it has decided to fully delete the accounts of British grime musician Wiley from both Facebook and Instagram, after he was placed on a temporary ban from the platforms.

The self-styled godfather of grime, whose real name is Richard Cowie, is being investigated by police after posting a series of antisemitic tweets over the weekend. He also discussed these tweets on his Instagram profile.

A Facebook company spokesperson said this afternoon: “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.”

Read more: High-profile users boycott Twitter over grime star’s antisemitic rant

It comes after Twitter faced a 48-hour boycott of its platform from a number of celebrity users and politicians, following criticism of its handling of Wiley’s tweets.

While some tweets were removed by Twitter for violating its policy on hate speech, others remain public on Wiley’s profile. Moreover some of the tweets that were later removed had been online for up to 12 hours before being taken down.

Celebrities and politicians began the boycott yesterday morning, which will continue until tomorrow at 9am.

The Liberal Democrats said it would be participating in the boycott via its official social media channels. However the Labour party said that while it supported the campaign’s message, it could not take a break from posting.

Read more: Facebook forced to delay results as tech giants size up Super Thursday

It comes as Facebook has faced repeated criticism for how it manages hate speech on its platforms, leading the social media giant to weather its own boycott from hundreds of advertisers throughout the month of July.

Major firms such as Unilever, Starbucks and Coca-cola joined forces with civil rights groups to challenge the social media giant, pausing all ad spending across Facebook and Instagram for a month.

An independent civil rights audit of the company also this month declared Facebook’s response to racial equality to be “too reactive and piecemeal”.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg will appear before the US House Judiciary committee tomorrow to answer questions about the firm’s alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

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