Instagram, Twitter restrict Kanye West accounts over anti-Semitic posts

Instagram and Twitter said they have restricted the accounts of US rap star Kanye West over posts slammed as anti-Semitic.

A spokeswoman for Twitter told AFP on 9 October that West’s account was locked due to a violation of the social media platform’s policies.

A spokesperson for Instagram parent Meta told AFP the group had deleted content — without specifying which posts — from West’s account for violating its rules.

Instagram also restricted his account, which may involve preventing him from posting, commenting or sending private messages, according to the same source.

In the tweet, which is no longer visible on West’s account, the rapper said, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” in apparent reference to a US military readiness code known as DEFCON.

The restrictions come after West, a Black artist who now goes by the name Ye, stirred controversy by wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt during the recent Paris Fashion Week, in a misappropriation of the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”

The phrase “Black Lives Matter” became a rallying cry for protests against racism and police brutality sparked by the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

On Friday, 45-year-old West posted on Instagram screenshots of a conversation with rapper Diddy, who called out West over the T-shirt and its message.

“Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me. I told you this was war. Now gone get you some business,” he wrote.

The posts have since been deleted from the platform but images can still be found online.

West then said on Twitter that he would target Jewish people in a post that has been blocked by the platform for violating its rules.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) hit out at West for having “fomented hatred of Jews.”

“Kanye West should figure out how to make a point without using antisemitism,” the organization said.

No stranger to controversy, West, who has been open about his struggles with bipolar disorder, was previously banned from posting on Instagram for 24 hours in March, amid an acrimonious divorce from reality TV star Kim Kardashian.

Earlier this week, German sportswear giant Adidas said it was reconsidering its partnership with West after he reportedly became disgruntled with how the brand was marketing his products.

Last month, West and retail brand Gap also announced an end to a partnership.

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