Wiley: Rapper deleted from Facebook and Instagram after anti-Semitic tirade

By Marianna Spring
Specialist disinformation reporter, BBC News

Image source, BBC News
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Rapper Wiley sent messages naming his Jewish critics on Facebook following an anti-Semitic tirade

Facebook has deleted the accounts of rapper Wiley after he shared abusive posts aimed at his Jewish critics and others.

His comments came after an anti-Semitic tirade on Twitter. He has also been banned from that network.

The BBC found Facebook posts under his real name Richard Kylea Cowie.

He specifically named Jewish celebrities - including Lord Alan Sugar, comedian David Baddiel and BBC presenter Emma Barnett.

A Facebook spokesperson said Wiley's account was removed for "repeated violations" of its policies. After the BBC contacted the social network to ask about the recent posts, it initially suspended, then deleted the grime artist's Facebook and Instagram profiles. The BBC has contacted the musician for comment.

The posts aimed abuse at Jewish celebrities who had expressed their dismay about Wiley's tweets. Several of his posts mentioned "Golders Green" - a London neighbourhood with a large Jewish community.

Image source, Facebook
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Wiley's personal Facebook page, where he has been posting abuse about Jewish critics

Wiley wrote: "Listen Golders Green ring my sister and let's meet asap"; "David Baddiel come and talk to my face"; and "Who called the police? Are you from Golders Green? I am coming to sit down with you... Labyrinth you could come along as you have forgotten what colour you are." East London rapper Labrinth posted a sharp rebuke of Wiley on Twitter over the weekend.

A number of comments on Wiley's Facebook posts also included anti-Semitic abuse.

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Rapper Wiley's Twitter account has been suspended after anti-Semitic posts.

The latest comments were shared on Wiley's personal Facebook profile, and not his official fan page, which has also been taken down. Although they had relatively little engagement - less than 100 likes and comments each - they were visible to the public.

Several of Wiley's tweets were taken down and his Twitter account was suspended - initially a temporary measure - after he went on an anti-Semitic tirade on Friday. One tweet read: "I don't care about Hitler, I care about black people", and compared the Jewish community to the Ku Klux Klan. Most of the posts spread anti-Semitic tropes.

A number of prominent users called for a 48-hour boycott of Twitter which ran from Monday, saying that the social network did not take action quickly enough. Twitter banned the rapper on Wednesday.

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