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Kanye West makes Twitter comeback after Meta restricts Instagram account

By Ellie Robinson

Kanye West has reportedly been banned from Instagram, leading him to make a comeback on Twitter after two years away.

NBC News confirmed that the rapper was barred from the social photo-sharing platform, with a representative for Meta – the company that owns Instagram – saying he was restricted from posting, and had content removed by a moderator, after violating the rules and guidelines. It was not specified exactly what posts were removed by Meta, but as NBC noted, one deleted yesterday (October 8) saw West share anti-Semitic sentiments.

It came after Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs responded to West’s recent gaffe at this year’s Paris Fashion Week – where he wore a shirt emblazoned with the phrase “White Lives Matter”, a slogan tied to white supremacist movements – and West shared screenshots of a text exchange between the two rappers to Instagram. In one of those texts, West wrote to Diddy: “I’ma use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.”

In his first Tweet since November 4, 2020, West shared a photo of a black cap emblazoned with “2024” on the rim – likely a nod to his recent declaration that he plans to run for President again in 2024. He followed it up with a photo of West singing karaoke with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accompanied with the caption: “Look at this Mark. How you gone kick me off instagram. You used to be my nigga.”

West’s latest political stunt began on Monday (October 3) during a launch event for his fashion brand Yeezy. During it, the rapper – as well as several models walking in the show, and conservative commentator Candace Owens – wore a shirt boasting the slogan “White Lives Matter”.

He’s since faced significant backlash for his use of the phrase – an appropriation of the Black Lives Matter slogan used to protest racial injustice, discrimination and police brutality – with the likes of Diddy and Jaden Smith, plus figureheads for Supreme and Vogue, taking issue with the stunt. He responded by doubling down, writing in a post on Instagram that the Black Lives Matter movement was a “scam”. 

In the days since, West has remained staunch on his viewpoint. His latest move of defence came in an interview with Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson – who himself has long history with allegations of racism and the promotion of white nationalist rhetoric – wherein West admitted that he found the shirt, and his idea to wear it, to be funny. 

Meanwhile, Canadian singer-songwriter Esthero – who co-wrote West’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’ tracks ‘Love Lockdown’, ‘Street Lights’ and ‘Robocop’ – says she intends to donate her cut of publishing royalties for the tracks to Black Lives Matter in response to West’s actions.

Among those who joined West in wearing the “White Lives Matter” shirt was Selah Marley – the daughter of Lauryn Hill and granddaughter of Bob Marley – who today (October 6) responded to her own backlash. “You can not bully me, manipulate me, or coax me into silence,” she wrote in a post shared to her Instagram Story, asking fans to “wait ’til you hear what [she has] to say”.

In addition to some of his colleagues, West’s critics have also included the family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered in a racially motivated hate crime in 2020. Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, came forward to express “extreme disappointment” with West’s actions. Black Lives Matter Grassroots, meanwhile, shared a statement saying the rapper had “sent a performative dog whistle to millions”.

Source: NME