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.”
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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
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
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.
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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.
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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