Amid the anger over Wiley’s bigoted tirade, let’s not forget the newspapers that have been peddling prejudice for years
Twitter is simultaneously many things: a means of elevating otherwise ignored voices, a platform for facilitating debate, a portal to access a bewildering array of information – and a cesspit of hatred.
This weekend, the grime artist Wiley – with his half a million followers – unleashed a tirade of undiluted antisemitism on to the site over the course of two days, leading some to observe a 48-hour boycott of the social media platform to protest Twitter’s slowness to act. But it has not proved uncontroversial; some users have noted that the website has long hosted unapologetic neo-Nazis such as US white supremacist Richard Spencer, so why wait for a black celebrity to make antisemitic comments to take such action? It took Twitter years to remove inflammatory far-right personalities, such as Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins. With a range of Jewish organisations urging a boycott and antisemitic hate crimes at a record high, I’m among those who heeded the call, while respecting the views of others who believe this is not an effective means to challenge racism.
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