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We’ve Joined the 48-Hour Boycott Against Twitter’s Inaction

We’ve joined the 48-hour Twitter “walkout,” against Twitter’s inaction this weekend, following a series of tweets inciting violence against Jewish people, posted by grime artist Wiley.

Published: 27 July 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:31 PM
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Platforms must be held accountable for illegal or harmful content posted by users. Photocredit: Shutterstock

The Twitter walkout means we will not be posting on the platform for 48 hours, from 9:00 am on Monday 27 July to 9:00 am on Wednesday 29 July.

We stand in solidarity with all of our Jewish members, against anti-Semitism in all its forms. The intention behind the walkout is to drive home that there must be #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate on social media, and that Twitter’s inaction is unacceptable.

We will not tolerate anti-Semitism

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Official John Shortell explained the MU’s position:

“The MU will not tolerate anti-Semitism and stands in solidarity with our Jewish members and the wider Jewish community. Anti-Semitism has no place in the music industry or in society.

“Recently people from all over the world have come together to take a stand against racism and demand action. Social media platforms must tackle all forms of racism and implement more robust ways to address anti-Semitism and remove it from the platform.”

The MU stands with members against anti-Semitism in all its forms. If you‘re an MU member and experience anti-Semitism at work, you can contact us for advice and assistance.

The Online Harms Bill must be implemented

We are also urging the Government to implement the Online Harms Bill, which could be used to hold websites accountable if they fail to tackle harmful content online.

The Bill is currently only in the proposal (or “white paper”) stages, and there are fears that it could be facing lengthy delays.

Our Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl explained why the Online Harms Bill is so essential:

“We call on the Government to implement its Online Harms Bill which sets out action to tackle online content or activity that harms individual users or threatens our way of life in the UK.

“Platforms must be held accountable for illegal or harmful content posted by users. It is unacceptable that Twitter did not take down Wiley’s posts immediately. If the BBC had hosted racist or discriminatory content, they would have been held to account.

“We must demand more from social media platforms and search engines; they know what they’re hosting due to highly sophisticated content recognition software they use so they are culpable.”

We will be inactive on our Twitter channel during this time, but members can still get in contact with their Regional Offices via email and telephone.

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