Bay Area Jewish leader reacts after Twitter, Instagram lock out Kanye West for anti-Semitic posts

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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The Bay Area Jewish community is reacting after artist Kanye West tweeted an anti-Semitic message. Since then his account has been locked.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area Jewish community is reacting after artist Kanye West tweeted an anti-Semitic message. Since then his account has been locked.

The rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West has been locked out of Twitter after tweeting in part that he would "go death con 3 on jewish people," a reference to the defense readiness alert used by the U.S. armed forces.

"I think it's really important that Twitter banned Kanye after the anti-Semitic tweets," said Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit with the Congregation Beth Am, adding, "Right off the bat, Kanye West has double the amount of Twitter followers than there are Jews in the world. So, I think it's something like 30 million Twitter followers. There is something like 15-17 million Jews in the world so even that is just so scary on some level."

Rabbi Prosnit said Ye's tweet was an attack against Jewish people.

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"Certainly Jewish institutions around this country are rising, anti-Semitic causes concern within our own community," said Rabbi Prosnit. "We pay a lot of money at our synagogue for security guards every time we worship. We have people what are afraid to come sometimes."

Over the weekend, Twitter locked West out of his account and removed the tweet citing it violated the company's rules.

From a legal standpoint, Twitter's actions are now raising questions about the power social media platforms have when addressing free speech.

"Twitter is a private organization. The first amendment which gives us freedom of speech says that the government can't limit a person's freedom of speech, but it doesn't say anything about private organizations," said Matt Coles, UC Hastings Law Professor of Constitutional law.

Before West was locked out of Twitter, Instagram also took the same action against the rapper over a post that was also seen as anti-Semitic.

"There is no reason why they can't do that to Kanye West just as they did to President Trump," said Matt Coles, UC Hastings Law Professor of Constitutional law. "From a constitutional law standpoint, there is no problem with that."

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Even though the actions of Twitter and Instagram are protected by law, Professor Coles believes in Texas their actions may be questionable.

"The Texas legislature passed a law last year forbidding large social media sites from doing content moderation," said Professor Coles.

Rabbi Prosnit believes these platforms made the right call.

"Just the same way racism is inexcusable, homophobia is inexcusable, Islamophobia is inexcusable, and trans-phobia is inexcusable all of these are connected," said Rabbi Prosnit.

Twitter and Instagram have yet to elaborate on how long they will lock "Ye" out of his accounts.

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