Antisemitism on Twitter and Instagram sparks media blackout by Herts political leaders

PUBLISHED: 15:57 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:57 27 July 2020

#NoSafeSpaceForJewHate starts at 9am today for a 48-hour period. Picture: Twitter/Daisy Cooper MP

#NoSafeSpaceForJewHate starts at 9am today for a 48-hour period. Picture: Twitter/Daisy Cooper MP

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Across Hertfordshire, political leaders are joining a social media blackout with the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate – and will hold a 48-hour boycott.

The move is in direct response to a series of messages by the rapper, Wiley, which were not removed from Twitter and Instagram despite complaints from the Jewish community.

The so-called “godfather of grime” made antisemitic statements, such as: “Jewish would do anything to ruin a black mans life but it won’t work with me I am a savage.”

Hertsmere Borough Council – the local authority with second highest Jewish population in the UK – has called on social media platforms to explain what appears to be a woeful lack of speed in confronting this matter.

The council is joined in their 48-hour boycott – which will take place from today unless there is significant issue affecting services in the borough – by Liberal Democrat St Albans MP Daisy Cooper, Potters Bar Labour, and Stevenage and Hertsmere Borough Council leaders Cllr Sharon Taylor, Labour, and Cllr Morris Bright, a Conservative.

Ms Cooper said: “Until social media platforms are regulated properly, it falls to users to make it clear to Twitter that we will not stand by if it and other platforms become a place to share antisemitic hate.”

Stevenage leader Cllr Taylor joined saying: “We must all stand together to tackle antisemitism and that means social media companies acting quickly when racism rears its ugly head as it does too often on here.”

HBC added that elected members and officers stand together with our communities across Hertsmere against all forms of hate, racism, intolerance and abuse and has recently committed to Black Lives Matter and LGBT+ motions.

The lack of removal of these posts on social media is now being investigated by the home secretary Priti Patel, who said they were “abhorrent”.

If you need to contact Hertsmere, you can do so by going to its customer service team on customer.services@hertsmere.gov.uk or 020 8207 2277.

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