The Rise and Fall of Kanye West

October 31st 2022 By Amy Gillin 2 minute read

Kanye West is no stranger to causing chaos on social media websites…

Kanye - or, should I say ‘Ye’ - has been heavily featured in the news recently – and, spoiler alert, it hasn’t been for any charity work or gestures of goodwill. 

It’s safe to say he’s currently facing a heavy public reckoning; will he be saying goodbye to his billionaire status?

Social Media Websites: How Are Brands Reacting to His Behaviour?

So far, his wax figure has been removed from Madame Tussauds, Adidas has ended their partnership, and other big-name brands have cut ties. 

The musician and fashion designer was also escorted from the Skechers Head Office after turning up ‘unannounced and uninvited’, following recent scrutiny of his divisive remarks of antisemitism and hate speech. 

Social media giants have been called upon to act on this hate speech, given that it’s their responsibility to prevent users from posting in this way. Twitter and Meta have removed Ye’s comments and restricted his accounts for violating their policies against offensive language. 

But what are social media websites doing to combat this kind of behaviour? And how will they moderate activity like this moving forward?

What Are Social Media Websites Doing to Combat Negative Behaviours?

Although social media websites are often deemed to be a place for freedom of speech and opinion, Meta, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube routinely remove posts deemed to violate standards on violence, hate speech, sexual content, privacy, harassment, impersonation, self-harm and other concerns. A lot of these actions happen automatically, through decisions made by AI.

Google and Meta have also partnered with third-party software to ‘vet’ posts and news items that may be infringing any of their rules. Twitter labels some posts that contain misleading or disputed claims in certain categories. More rarely, the platforms ban users.

While I feel that platforms are starting to combat this behaviour, it doesn’t always stop other users from sharing and echoing this content. Thousands of users took to their own accounts to screenshot, share and amplify Ye’s comments, making it harder for the content to be censored.

In my opinion, social media websites need to work harder to monitor the content that comes off the back of this kind of activity. It will be interesting to see how this continues to unfold and watch if platforms start to implement stricter policies for this kind of ‘social media aftermath’. 

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