Trump un-banned by Twitch after ‘hateful conduct’ led to 2-week suspension

Twitch just un-banned Donald Trump. The impeached U.S. president's official Twitch channel [Link] had been suspended for two weeks for violating the streaming video platform's rules against hateful conduct. Read the rest

In a panic over fleeing advertisers, Facebook launches PR blitz to announce it is "a mirror to society"

In the last couple of weeks over 200 major advertisers, including Starbucks, Ford, GM, Clorox, Reebok, Adidas, Best Buy, Clif Bar, and Chobani have left Facebook, citing concerns over the social media platform's lack of meaningful action against voter suppression campaigns and hate speech that takes place there.

In a statement, Denny's said: "As America's diner, we offer an inclusive and welcoming environment where all people can enjoy a nice meal and we strongly oppose hate speech of any kind. It is our belief that Facebook has not done enough to address this important issue on its platform and we are calling on Facebook to make positive changes in its process for combatting hate speech and disinformation."

On Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new policies he claimed would "crack down on voter suppression and fight hate speech." But according to Popular Information, critics said the policy was toothless and would do little to stop voter suppression and hate speech.

So now Facebook has enlisted the help of Nick Clegg, vice president for global affairs and communications (and former Deputy Prime Minister of the UK) to educate the media that Facebook is just a "mirror to society."

On CNN, host Brian Stelter asked Clegg what Facebook was doing to combat divisive speech on its platform. Clegg's response was there was nothing Facebook could do because the divisive content was merely a reflection of broader societal trends.

"Yes, and I'm afraid that in a highly polarized time in U.S. society, particularly in the run-up to this highly consequential election in November where, you know, people are shouting at each other from right and left, and where, of course, in some sense, Facebook is a mirror to society.

Read the rest

YouTube bans 6 channels for hate speech, white supremacists Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, and Richard Spencer among them

“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube.”

Reddit shuts down The_Donald for hate speech, harassment, and targeting

The 790,000 subscribers to The_Donald have suddenly found themselves without a place to spread hate and harassment after Reddit shut down the subreddit earlier this morning, reports The New York Times. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told reporters “Reddit is a place for community and belonging, not for attacking people. The_Donald has been in violation of that.”

From The New York Times:

Reddit said people in “The_Donald” consistently posted racist and vulgar messages that incited harassment and targeted people of different religious and ethnic groups on and off its site.

“The_Donald” has also heavily trafficked in conspiracy theories, including spreading the debunked “PizzaGate” conspiracy, in which Hillary Clinton and top Democrats were falsely accused of running a child sex trafficking ring from a pizza parlor in Washington.

Reddit said that as of Monday, it was introducing eight rules that laid out the terms people must abide by to use the site. Those include prohibiting targeted harassment, revealing the identities of others, posting sexually exploitative content related to underage children, or trafficking in illegal substances or other illicit transactions.

While the site had already banned many of these behaviors, the latest changes take a harder line on speech that “promotes hate based on identity or vulnerability.”

Image: Gage Skidmore - Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link Read the rest

Training bias in AI "hate speech detector" means that tweets by Black people are far more likely to be censored

More bad news for Google's beleaguered spinoff Jigsaw, whose flagship project is "Perspective," a machine-learning system designed to catch and interdict harassment, hate-speech and other undesirable online speech. Read the rest

Hate speech on 4chan is up by 40% since 2015, analysis of one million comments finds

Analysis of more than 1 million comments from the site finds dramatic shift toward racist hate content

Facebook bans Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Louis Farrakhan, as 'dangerous'

Gosh, it only took 'em 4 whole years

Facebook says white nationalist and white separatist content now officially banned from platform

In a statement announcing the official ban, Facebook says the ideologies are "inherently hateful."

Federal judge: Lawsuit against Andrew Anglin of 'Daily Stormer' can proceed, Nazi hate speech isn't protected

In Montana today, a federal judge said the First Amendment doesn't protect a pro-Nazi internet publisher from being sued for instructing his readers to unleash a "troll storm" that materialized in a barrage of anti-Semitic threats against a Jewish woman and her family in Whitefish. Read the rest

Twitter says it's ok to compare Jews to insects, for now

Minister Louis Farrakhan tweeted a video clip of one of his recent speeches with the comment, “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.” Twitter says it's letting the comment stand because its policy on dehumanizing tweets is not yet in effect. The proposed policy defines dehumanizing tweets as ones that inlude “language that treats others as less than human ... Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to a tool for some other purpose (mechanistic).”

From Buzzfeed:

However, a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the rules have not yet taken effect, so Farrakhan’s language is not in violation of any extant policy. The spokesperson did not give a date for when the new rule would go into effect, or if it would at all. He did not address whether Farrakhan’s tweet would be in violation were the policy in effect.

The company has in the past removed special verified status from users as a way of punishing them for offensive speech, as it did in July when it unverified Farrakhan after the minister tweeted, “Thoroughly and completely unmasking the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan.”

Read the rest

Reddit 'quarantines' white supremacist, incel, holocaust denier, and other gross subreddits

Women-hating MRAs and Incels, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 Truthers, and snuff video fetishists on Reddit got harder to find today. An update of Reddit's “quarantine” policy was announced on Thursday, and by Friday new content disclaimers appeared a number of the sketchier “subreddits,” including four with over 100,000 subscribers each. Read the rest

Count Dankula convicted for Nazi pug antics

YouTuber Count Dankula turned his girlfriend's pug into the star of several Hitler and Holocaust jokes. He was arrested, charged under hate crime statutes, and convicted yesterday. Read the rest

Twitter complies with Germany's new hate-speech laws by cutting off the account of a satirical magazine that mocks hate speech

When a German neo-Nazi politician tweeted that German police were trying to "to appease the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men," her account was briefly suspended -- but when the satirical magazine Titanic put up its own tweet mocking the Nazi, their account was suspended, too. Read the rest

Leaked Facebook docs: weird censorship standards that protect "white men but not black children"

Facebook is not responsible for bad speech by its users -- section 230 of the US Telecommunications Act says that libel and other forms of prohibited speech are the responsibility of users, not those who provide forums for users to communicate in -- but it takes voluntary steps to try to keep its service from being a hostile environment for its users, paying 4,500 moderators to delete material the company deems unacceptable. Read the rest

Germany investigates Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook over failure to remove hate posts

Prosecutors in Germany have launched a formal investigation of Mark Zuckerberg and other executives at Facebook, the Munich prosecutor's office said Friday, over a complaint that Facebook broke German laws against hate speech and sedition by failing to remove racist hate-posts on the social media service. Read the rest

Baptist pastor praises Orlando shooter for killing gays

Pastor Roger Jimenez of Sacramento's Verity Baptist Church delivered a sermon praising the Orlando shooter and lamenting that The tragedy is more of them didn’t die…. I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job!" Read the rest

Ellen Pao: “The trolls are winning.”

“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest