The independent London newspaper

Race hate Twitter walkout

Social media companies under fire

30 July, 2020

SOCIAL media giants Twitter have been challenged over how long it takes to remove offensive posts.

Former EastEnders star Tracy-Ann Oberman helped organise a 48-hour walkout from the site on Monday.

This was the length of time it had taken Twitter to remove a slew of antisemitic comments made by rapper Wiley on Friday, She was joined by a host of users of the site who normally post something everyday, including fellow actors and MPs.

Ms Oberman, who lives in Hampstead, said: “If Wiley wants to be a racist, that’s fine. What isn’t fine is if sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram give him an amplifier – a megaphone – to spew that hatred out to 500,000 followers without anybody holding him to account.”

“If Twitter lets anything go, then it must be transparent, and say ‘this is what we are, you can post anything here’, in which case people like myself wouldn’t choose to be on it,” she told Sky News. “But they don’t want to be seen like that. They have guidelines in place, so they have to take race hate seriously and remove it.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel sites like Twitter had to “move faster”, while the UK’s chief rabbi Ephraim Mirwais said social media companies had a “woeful lack of responsible leadership”.

A Twitter spokesperson said: “Abuse and harassment have no place on our service and we have policies in place that address hateful conduct.” Wiley has denied being racist.


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