The Chief Rabbi of the UK, Ephraim Mirvis, joined a boycott campaign on Facebook and Twitter for 48 hours on Monday, after accusing the platforms of complicity with anti-Semitism for their lack of action against the messages that promote the hate.
The reason for the discord is a series of tweets and posts on Instagram by the musician Wiley, appealing to kill the Jews, which were visible on the networks for at least 12 hours.
In a letter to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, CEOs respectively of Facebook and Twitter, the rabbi reproached them for their “lack of responsible leadership” and reminded them that “inaction equals complicity” with the grime artist’s invective.
Wiley sent out threatening messages, calling for the black population’s “war” against the Jews, between Friday and Saturday. Although some of the more explicit messages disappeared a few hours later, it took longer for other posts to do so.
He received in the first instance, a suspension of only a few hours on Twitter. Once commotion was created, it lasted a full week. British police, meanwhile, have confirmed that they are investigating the content of the artist’s comments.
Politicians, activists and celebrities joined Ephraim Mirvis in boycotting these social networks under the hashtag #NoSafePlaceForJewHate, which appeals for the disappearance of “safe spaces” to promote hatred against Jews.
“Instead of acting immediately to close Wiley’s accounts (which are still active), Twitter and Facebook have decided to protect this racist and allow him to access hundreds of thousands of people,” denounced the Campaign against Anti-Semitism, organizer of the mobilization.
This new protest action comes amid another boycott organized by big advertisers against Facebook, and that will last all of July, due to their lack of will, they argue, when it comes to silencing those who spread hate. Almost a third of those companies – giants like Unilever, Volkswagen or The North Face – agreed to join.
Zuckerberg has allowed himself, however, to minimize the impact of this pressure manoeuvre, given that the small advertisers, who are procuring the bulk of the platform’s revenues, are still on board.
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