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Kanye West's Twitter, Instagram accounts restricted after anti-Semitic posts

Published 10/09/2022, 06:04 PM
Updated 10/10/2022, 09:05 PM
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By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Kanye West's accounts on Twitter and Instagram were restricted over the weekend, with the social media platforms saying they removed posts by the rapper that online users condemned as anti-Semitic.

West, who legally changed his name to simply Ye last year, was locked out of his Instagram by Facebook (NASDAQ:META) parent Meta Platforms Inc on Friday. He then moved to Twitter, posting on Saturday for the first time in two years.

West's first post on Twitter since 2020 was a blurry photo of himself singing karaoke with Meta Platforms founder Mark Zuckerberg. The tweet said: "Look at this Mark How you gone kick me off instagram."

West then tweeted: "You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda." That post, in which he said he was not anti-Semitic, was removed by Twitter. His account was also locked, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed on Sunday.

The step by Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to lock the performer's account was noteworthy because billionaire Elon Musk, who has said he would buy Twitter and calls himself a free speech absolutist, had welcomed West's return to the platform and replied to a post by the rapper tweeting: "Welcome back to Twitter, my friend!"

On Monday evening Musk said on Twitter that he had talked to West and "expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart."

West has previously made erratic online posts. Earlier this year, he was suspended from Instagram for 24 hours after he directed racial slurs at comedian Trevor Noah.

Before he took to Twitter early on Saturday, the rapper had his Instagram account suspended after a since-removed post in which he invoked anti-Semitic tropes, accusing a musician of being controlled by "the Jewish people."

The company said on Saturday temporary restrictions on posting, commenting and messaging were imposed on West's Instagram account.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Kanye West on stage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The suspension comes days after German sporting goods maker Adidas (OTC:ADDYY) said it had put under review its business partnership with West.

CNBC, which first reported the news, said West had been publicly critical of Adidas and its CEO and told the broadcaster that the German group was copying his ideas. Adidas has been partnering with West since 2013, CNBC said.

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