Google, Facebook, Twitter Vow To Censor Hate Speech In Less Than 24 Hours

The giants of social media will attempt to censor designated forms of hate speech in under 24 hours of being notified about it. That’s their new claim – no, scratch that. That’s their new “vow” to the European Commission when it comes to dealing with hate speech online.

According Bloomberg Technology [via KiA] Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Facebook want to go beyond the criminal laws of hate speech and further censor content that can be classified as hate speech.

They say this initiative was kicked up following attacks in Brussels and Paris by Islamic states that supposedly used the web to coordinate their attacks. I honestly have no idea how further limiting or censoring hate speech online has anything to do with the heinous acts committed in real life against innocent individuals considering that if they aren’t using public social media they would still organize through private utilities and chat services. It’s the equivalent of DRM laced in AAA titles supposedly designed to curb piracy, when the only people it really hinders are legitimate customers (viz., Dark Void says ‘Hi’)

Twitter’s head of public policy, Karen White, commented about the new move to further censor what the media deems as hate speech, stating…

“We remain committed to letting the Tweets flow,” […] “However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.”

Examples of this particular brand of hate speech were nil. In fact, we have no idea – based on the Bloomberg piece – exactly what qualifies as “hate speech”.

We’ve seen some individuals classify disagreements as “harassment”, and others attempting to use opposing political views as a sign of targeted hate.

The only thing they mention in the article is that in the joint statement by the larger online corporations, it was stated that internet user activity needs to be…

“expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame,”

This doesn’t seem to bode well for the average user when these kind of wide sweeping labels of “hate speech” can be used to shut down conversations, discussions or trains of thoughts that some people may not like, even if they aren’t advocating harm or hate. For example, the One Angry Gamer Tumblr account has been terminated for the second time within the span of 30 days with absolutely no explanation whatsoever and no notifications about any rules being violated or terms of use being broken.

This kind of targeted censorship as a means to “combat the use of social media by terrorists” is starting to look more and more like larger media conglomerates pushing very hard to control what you see, how you see it, what you say and where you’re allowed to say it. This comes as very little surprise on the heels of Facebook admitting to tinkering with the Trends in order to force users to take interest in specific cultural topics, and Microsoft forcing their Windows 10 OS on users who blatantly made it known that they did not want it.

(Main image courtesy of Lisa M)


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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