Twitter users stage 48-hour walkout over its handling of Wiley's anti-Semitic tweets

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  Wiley performs at O2 Academy Brixton hours after recieving his MBE from the Duke of Cambridge at the 2018 New Year Investitures ceremony on March 2, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns)
Wiley performs at the O2 Academy Brixton in 2018. (Ollie Millington/Redferns)

A host of well-known faces are turning their backs on Twitter for 48 hours in response to its handling of Wiley’s slew of anti-Semitic tweets.

The grime artist shocked followers and the wider Twitter audience when he posted a flurry of anti-Semitic tweets over the space of several hours on Friday.

Though some of Wiley’s tweets were removed and he was eventually given a seven-day ban from the site, many people are unhappy with how long administrators took to act and the leniency of the ban.

In response, campaigners have urged users to take part in a 48-hour Twitter walkout starting on Monday, 27 July.

Read more: UK rapper Wiley faces police probe over accusations of anti-Semitism

The campaign is using the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate.

Former EastEnders actress Tracey-Ann Oberman shared details of the campaign and urged others to join.

She tweeted: “Please join us. @Twitter has allowed @WileyCEO 48 hours of pure race hate. His tweets are still up. @jack has to stick by their remit of anti racism. Silence is complicity. Please walk out with us. No to all race hate. No to platforming any race hate #nosafespaceforjewhate.”

She later added: “I’ve walked out on places that make me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Im sure you have too. Walking out sometimes seems the only way. We will be heard #nosafespaceforjewhate or any hate.”

Celebrity chef Jay Rayner tweeted: “Twitter has broken its own terms of service. So I'm switching off.”

TV Reverend Richard Coles said: “Like lots of people I’m very reluctant to set limits on free speech, but some free speech is so harmful to the good of others, I can’t in conscience tolerate it. So I’m off Twitter till Wednesday.”

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

Actor Eddie Marsan said: “From tomorrow morning at 9am I’m leaving @Twitter for 48 hours to protest against their inaction on anti-Jewish racism. I’m horrified at the abuse Jewish people suffer on here and I want to do something about it. Please consider doing the same.”

Singers Alison Moyet and Sophie Ellis-Bextor have also joined the walkout, as have comedy actors Ralf Little, Kathy Burke and Robert Webb.

41-year-old Wiley, real name Richard Cowie, has since been dropped by his A-List Management team. Manager John Woolf, who is himself Jewish, said: “Following Wiley's anti-Semitic tweets today we at A-List Management have cut all ties with him. There is no place in society for anti-Semitism.”