NEW YORK (Associated Press) – Kanye West once suggested that slavery was a choice. The COVID-19 vaccine has been called “the mark of the beast.” Earlier this month, he was criticized for wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt For his collection at Paris Fashion Week.
Now the rapper known legally as Ye is once again embroiled in controversy – he has been banned from Twitter and Instagram over anti-Semitic posts that social networks said on Sunday violated their policies. In a Twitter post, Yi said he would soon go “Death 3 to the Jewish People,” according to Internet Archive records, in an apparent reference to the US Defense Readiness Status Scale known as DEFCON.
“You played with me and tried to get rid of anyone who went against your agenda,” he said in the same tweet posted late Saturday, which Twitter took down.
The comment drew a sharp rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, which called the tweet a “very disturbing, dangerous and anti-Semitic period”.
“There is no excuse for his propagation of classic white supremacist and anti-Semitic slogans about Jewish power, especially with his platform,” a statement read.
Yi’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Yi has alienated even ardent fans in recent years, as she has long teased and manipulated albums that were not met with the critical or commercial success of his previous recordings. Those close to him, such as ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her family, have stopped defending him publicly after the couple’s bitter divorce and unsettling posts about her recent relationship with comedian Pete Davidson.
But the social media shutdowns are making for a turbulent week for Ye, even by his standards. On October 3, he wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt while debuting his fashion line in Paris, drawing sharp criticism. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, the White Lives Matter is a neo-Nazi group.
Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs wrote Instagram video Saying he did not support the shirt, he urged people not to buy it. On Instagram, Yi posted a screenshot of a text conversation with Didi and noted that he was controlled by Jews, according to media reports.
Adidas said Thursday that it will put a device Profitable sneaker deal with Yi under review. And on Saturday, Instagram shut down the rapper’s posts for content violations. His Twitter account was shut down on Sunday, just a day after he returned to the platform after a nearly two-year hiatus and was welcomed by Elon Musk.
“Welcome back to Twitter, my friend,” wrote Musk, who last week renewed his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter after a months-long legal battle with the company. The billionaire and Tesla CEO has said he will reshape Twitter into a haven for free speech and loosen restrictions, although it is impossible to know precisely how he would run the influencer network if he takes over.
Twitter and Instagram’s social media policies prohibit posting offensive language.
Ye’s Twitter account is still active but can’t post until the shutdown ends. Meta penalties, which Facebook and Instagram own, may include temporary restrictions on posting, commenting, or sending direct messages. These gags can last for 12 hours or days, depending on the severity of the violation or how many other times the account violated the rules.
While a step short of a complete account suspension, enough of these restrictions can eventually result in a person being kicked off social media platforms — temporarily or, in rare cases, permanently.
As of Monday afternoon, neither account has posted anything, indicating that Ye is still restricted. Neither Twitter nor Meta has said how long they will restrict Ye’s accounts – or how close they might be to being suspended or even permanently terminated.
Yi has gained less reputation for his music and more for controversy since 2016, when he was hospitalized in Los Angeles due to what his team described as stress and fatigue. It was later revealed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
That year, he finished a show in Sacramento, California, after just four songs but not before a 10-minute sermon on Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, radio, and MTV. Soon the West decided to cancel the entire tour.
Since then, he’s made headlines regularly: running for president, continuing his ongoing feud with Taylor Swift, causing an uproar when he suggested slavery was a choice, and publicly defending R.’s sexual assault and anti-gay allegations, respectively.
Aside from Yi’s participation, social media restrictions like this one were pretty routine on the platforms. Twitter took action on nearly 4.3 million accounts between July and December 2021, the most recent data available from its twice-yearly transparency report. About 1.3 million accounts were suspended in the same period.
But with Twitter likely close to being sold to Musk, advocacy groups fear the platform will return to the days when it was known as a cesspool of abuse and hate, especially for women, minorities and members of the LGBTQ community. While there is still hate content on Twitter, the company has spent years trying to detect and remove threats, abuse, racism, violence and other harmful material.