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 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."
Read the rest
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.
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.”
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
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).”
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.”
I'm not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite. pic.twitter.com/L5dPQcnVg4
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) October 16, 2018
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
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
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
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
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
“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