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With a past record of violating company guidelines that prohibit users from sharing hate speech and other violent messages directed toward protected groups, Ye — the rapper formerly known as Kanye West — could well be on his way toward a permanent ban from platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
Meta’s content policies include provisions for accounts to receive “strikes” for content that violates its guidelines. Strikes are determined based “on the severity of the content, the context in which it was shared and when it was posted,” according to a company post explaining the strikes policy. A Meta spokesperson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the company will “remove accounts when they reach a certain number of strikes within a window of time,” but the spokesperson declined to share the number of strikes on West’s account.
Twitter also has provisions in place to permanently suspend an account based on policy violations, which the company notably did in early 2021 to former President Donald Trump.
Over the weekend, West faced disciplinary action from both Instagram and Twitter after he shared messages containing antisemitic comments that quickly drew condemnation from groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance. On Tuesday, the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles also extended an invitation to the rapper to visit the museum to learn how “words can incite horrific violence and genocides” and understand how “the Holocaust started with only words that sadly begat stereotypes, racial and religious tropes and blaming others and led to the murder of six million Jews,” according to a statement shared with THR.
Last Friday, West — via his account @kanyewest — began sharing screenshots of text messages allegedly between himself and Sean “Diddy” Combs; in one of the messages, shared to Instagram, West insinuated that Combs was being influenced or otherwise controlled by Jewish people after Combs had criticized West for making and wearing “White Lives Matter” shirts at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris last week. “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,” West had allegedly texted to Combs, according to the screenshot he shared to his Instagram account.
The following day, a Meta spokesperson confirmed to THR that it had removed content from West’s account that was in violation of Instagram’s platform rules and had placed a restriction on the account, which prevents users from posting to their accounts, for an unspecified period of time.
That same evening, West had made his return to Twitter after a two-year hiatus to tweet he was going to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” and baselessly claimed that Jewish people were trying to “black ball” those who oppose their supposed “agenda.” That tweet was taken down from West’s account for violating Twitter’s rules and West has not tweeted on the account since Oct. 8, though Twitter spokespersons have not responded to requests to clarify whether the rapper has been suspended from the platform.
Still, West’s antisemitic posts from over the weekend do not represent the first time the rapper has posted content in violation of social media platforms’ rules. In March, West’s Instagram account was suspended for 24 hours after he shared a post containing a racial epithet based on a minstrel character directed toward Trevor Noah. At the time, the Daily Show host had spoken out about West’s harassment of Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend, Pete Davidson, and described such behavior as “terrifying to watch.”
Earlier this year, the rapper had also shared disturbing videos to his Instagram account which depicted a clay model of Davidson being kidnapped and buried alive and, in a second video, being beaten by a skinned monkey. Those videos are no longer on West’s IG account, though representatives for Instagram have not clarified if the posts were taken down by the company or by West.
As for a potential ban from Twitter, the company’s impending sale to Elon Musk — and the billionaire’s close connection to the rapper — could offer West some added protection from being booted from the platform. After welcoming West back to Twitter on Oct. 8, Musk said on Oct. 10 he had spoken to West personally and “expressed [his] concerns” about the rapper’s antisemitic tweet, adding that he believed West had taken the concern “to heart.” Musk has also previously said it was a “mistake” for Twitter to permanently ban Trump from the platform and said he only believed in permanent bans to remove bots and scammers.
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