The always outspoken rapper and husband of Kim Kardashian Kanye West has apparently decided that 50 women can be wrong and that comedian Bill Cosby is innocent of sex assault. "Bill Cosby is innocent," West tweeted nine exclamation points.

No details were provided for West's position, but the Tweet instantly triggered a backlash. "You have a daughter. Be better," one person wrote to him. "Kanye please don't do this," said another on his Twitter page. There were, however, 23,000 tweet "likes" within hours.

More than 50 women have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them, with many of the attacks dating back decades. In almost all the cases, the women accused Cosby of secretly drugging them before the assaults.

One person tweeted in response to Kanye's comment that "Pill" Cosby must have made Kanye a drink and stole his phone "when he hit the floor." West's tweet appeared to be an about-face for the rapper who called out Cosby in his song Facts released at the end of 2015. "Do anybody feel bad for Bill Cosby? Did he forget names just like Steve Harvey?" he raps in the song.

Facts was released the day after Cosby, 78, was charged with a felony for aggravated indecent assault against Temple University basketball team employee Andrea Constand. She accused Cosby of plying her with drinks and drugs and assaulting her in his suburban Philadelphia home. The comedian claims the sex was consensual.

As for Harvey, the 58-year-old host of the TV game show the Family Feud accidentally named the wrong winner for Miss Universe. Another of the strange trio of targets in the song included Nike, with Kanye rapping: "Nike, Nike treat employees just like slaves."

The latest surprise tweet could simply be an attention-grabber. Kanye's long-awaited new album is set to come out Thursday 11 February. Originally titled Swish, he recently announced he was changing it to Waves. Most recently he said the new title's initials will be T.L.O.P, and challenged fans to guess what the letters stood for.