July 26, 2020 / 1:44 PM / in 19 days

UK criticises Twitter, Instagram for being slow to remove rapper Wiley's posts

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Home Secretary, Priti Patel, speaks to the media near to the scene of reported multiple stabbings in Reading, Britain, June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - British interior minister Priti Patel said on Sunday she had asked Twitter and Instagram for a full explanation of why anti-Semitic comments made by rap artist Wiley remained on the social media platforms for so long.

Wiley is facing a police investigation after comments appeared on his social media accounts on Friday asserting that Jews systematically exploited Black artists in the music industry.

“The anti-Semitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent,” Patel said on Twitter.

“They should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long and I have asked them for a full explanation. Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms.”

A company spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “There is no place for hate speech on Instagram. We have deleted content that violates our policies from this account and have blocked access to it for seven days.”

Twitter has deleted some anti-Semitic statements on Wiley’s Twitter account. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wiley, 41, whose real name is Richard Cowie, released a number one single in Britain in 2012 and had several other top 10 hits as a leading figure in grime music, a British genre of rap. He received a UK government honour for his contribution to music in 2018.

John Woolf, of A-List Management, has said he would no longer represent the artist.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Jane Merriman and Peter Graff

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