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.
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 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)