Archive for the ‘Hate Speech’ Category

IRIN | Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi – IRINnews.org


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IRIN | Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi
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History tells us Burundi needs to start prosecuting those guilty of hate speech and inciting violence.

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Alt-Right Activists Thrust Silicon Valley Into Debate on Hate Speech … – NBCNews.com

Even as it wrestles with its own diversity issues, Silicon Valley has become the reluctant arbiter of the line where free speech crosses into hate speech in the wake of the deadly protests in Charlottesville.

In an age where a lack of condemnation is tantamount to complicity, experts say tech firms have no choice but to disassociate from the alt-right, although as a growing number of tech companies cut off white nationalist groups from the platforms they use for communication, commerce, and content distribution, some have criticized the response as too little, too late.

Theres a very intimate history between internet service providers and white supremacist groups, said Joan Donovan, media manipulation research lead at the Data & Society Research Institute. There was plenty of warning that this stuff was being coordinated in their spaces, she said, but tech companies initially resisted policing the activity.

Historically, Silicon Valley has presented itself on embracing diversity in all its forms, albeit for pragmatic rather than political reasons: Cutthroat competition for users and talent means that companies cant afford to be exclusionary.

The reason this is a heightened issue in technology is technology is much more heterogeneous its all over the world, said Dave Carvajal, CEO of a technology-focused recruiting firm.

Its this belief people have that the tech industry should be the most modern, the most cutting edge, said Brian Kropp, HR Practice Leader at CEB (now Gartner). It also has this promise of capturing what tomorrow is going to be like.

But putting these egalitarian principles into practice hasnt always been easy. Even before Charlottesville, companies have stumbled in the gap between bro culture and Silicon Valleys self-image of open-mindedness.

Ubers ouster of CEO Travis Kalanick shone an embarrassing spotlight on the ingrained misogyny at some firms, and Googles recent firing of engineer James Damore, who argued in a widely distributed memo that women are biologically less well-suited for tech jobs, triggered accusations that the search giant is intolerant of conservative views.

I think whats happening is a lot of these kinds of deep-rooted issues are being brought to the surface because of the political theater thats happening right now. Its stirring up a lot of this, Carvajal said.

The violence at a white nationalist rally that left one counter-protester dead and others injured has brought this tension into sharper focus.

Theyve been pushing very hard on many of these issues. Now theyre at a point where they have to make really hard decisions… whether or not they stand up to all the values theyve talked about and promoted, Kropp said.

Some tech firms have been more receptive to curtailing alt-right activity than others, said Rashad Robinson, executive director of advocacy group Color of Change.

A lot of them seem super-focused on terms of services and this idea of an open platform, he said. We hear things like they share our values but at this time theres not going to be an update to policy.

Some of the challenges are logistical rather than ideological, since much of the enforcement cant be automated. It takes humans making judgement calls, and the line between talk and action online isnt always clear. There hasnt been a good model so far for policy around how to monitor or prevent certain amounts of content, Donovan said.

Tech companies also dont want to alienate potential customers or trigger a public relations backlash. According to Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex, consumer sentiment metrics for Facebook, Apple and GoDaddy reflected little change this week. Theyre not getting a lot of credit from consumers, but theyre not being punished, either, he said.

This could embolden other Silicon Valley leaders to terminate alt-right and white nationalist business relationships, Marzilli said, even if it costs them. These things are always a bit risky for companies from the perspective of dollars and cents, he said.

Whether driven by a sense of moral obligation, concern about public perception or some combination of the two, last weekends violence seemed to be a wake-up call, Robinson said. Its certainly accelerated since Charlottesville, he said of companies willingness to cut ties with white nationalist groups.

They started to think about their role in promoting this kind of talk, Donovan said. One thing these platforms really understand about themselves is they dont just allow speech to flow, they do the job of coordinating action They saw that this kind of open unmoderated speech online produced violent effects.

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Margaret Sullivan: To fight hate speech, don’t muzzle it – The Salt … – Salt Lake Tribune

White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Margaret Sullivan: To fight hate speech, don’t muzzle it – The Salt … – Salt Lake Tribune

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Free speech or hate speech? – WWL First News

How does a university decide when to ban a guest for promoting hate from others who might be just as confrontational?

LSU has told white nationalist Richard Spencer, he isn’t welcomed on campus touching off a controversy over free speech.

It has many folks asking where is the line between freedom of speech and hate speech. Stephen Griffin is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Tulane University. He says a banned speaker could go to court, but the violence in Charlottesville could be a big factor in this case.

”Where we just had a situation that turned violent, which associated directly with Mr. Spencer, I would have to believe judges will give LSU leeway because the rule is not absolute,” said Griffin.

Griffin says private universities would have more leeway keeping groups away but public universities like LSU could be walking a fine line.

”Private schools are in a completely different situation, so LSU might be a little more at risk for legal liability.” Griffin said.

Griffin also says safety for the students is going to be of ultimate concern adding that parents will be watching carefully.

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Facebook needs to referee more hate speech after Charlottesville | Opinion – Philly.com

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg released a message on the horrible events in Charlottesville. The Facebook CEO and founders statement came later than Donald Trumps views about last weekend, but it was more profound than any of the things the president has said so far. Though the latter might not be too hard, in this case Zuckerbergs words are noteworthy.

He wrote: We arent born hating each other. We arent born with such extreme views. He further mentioned a responsibility, which everybody has, to do what one can. I believe we can do something about the parts of our culture that teach a person to hate someone else. Its important that Facebook is a place where people with different views can share their ideas. Debate is part of a healthy society. But when someone tries to silence others or attacks them based on who theyare or what they believe, that hurts us all and is unacceptable.

An important statement, coming from the CEO of the worlds leading social network. Facebooks main task may not be to protect and unite the country which is the role of the president but the company does have a social responsibility when it comes to its two billion worldwide users. Facebook and others must be fully aware of their influence on society.

Sadly, Facebook and other social media have a lengthy and darkhistory of handling hate speech and comments endorsing violence or echoing racist ideology or organizing criminal actions or terrorist attacks. They rightly have been under pressure for their lax stance towards all kinds of hate on the internet. When it comes to terror attacks, social mediaare simply often not able to deal with the huge amount of propaganda. And sometimes Facebooks internal rules are so complex that theyaffect peoplewho are actually fighting hate by making it public.

From my standpoint as a European, it is always puzzling how Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others have a tougher control on any presentation of even low-level nudity, like, only a little while ago, evenpictures of breastfeeding, in comparison to hate and violence.It is imperative that Facebook and other social networks take more responsibility for what is going on their platforms; it is not enough tojust provide the technology. At a sports match, there are not just two teams on the field. There also is a referee watching what is goingon.Social mediashould take amoreattentive look what is happeningon theirfield.

There is no place for hate in our community, Zuckerbergs statement continues. Thats why weve always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism including what happened in Charlottesville. With the potential for more rallies, were watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm.

Facebook did indeed remove content from white supremacists and neo-Nazis last week.

Further actions by other tech companies also took place: Reddit announced it was banning groups and pages linked to far-right extremists.Furthermore, Go Daddy, the internet domain registrar and web-hosting service, took down the website of the National Stormer, which helped organize the violent neo-Nazi gathering in Virginia.

These steps, taken by technology companies themselves, are welcome; otherwise, the state maytake matters into itsown hands, which does not always lead to the best results.

Germany, for instance, just passed a highly controversial law to fine social media companies over hate speech this summer. Under the new Network Enforcement Act, companies face fines of up to $57 million for failing to remove illegal content within 24 hours. This includes racist or slanderous comments and incitements ofviolence. Digital rights activists have been criticizing the new law for infringing on free speech.Also,the initiativehas been criticizedas a single-handed action by one government, where a common approach wouldbe better.

As technology evolves, there mustbe a discussion with all playersinvolved about how to deal with hate speech practically.There are many questions that must be resolved: What can be considered as freedom of speech and where is that line drawn? Where does censorship start? Will these actions violate the First Amendment? Can companies tackle some extremist views while ignoring others? Do the companies need more workers or more sophisticated artificial intelligence to improve their response to the problem and conduct proactive searches for hate speech?

We wont always be perfect, but you have my commitment that well keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe, Zuckerberg wrote.

Closer looks will be, at least, a start. Will this action by Facebook, Reddit, and other tech companies be permanent or is this a onetime change in the wake of Charlottesville? Time will tell. Taking more responsibility is justone step in the right direction with manymore to go.

Published: August 21, 2017 3:01 AM EDT | Updated: August 21, 2017 6:32 AM EDT

We recently asked you to support our journalism. The response, in a word, is heartening. You have encouraged us in our mission to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community. Subscriptions are available for home delivery of the print edition and for a digital replica viewable on your mobile device or computer. Subscriptions start as low as 25 per day. We’re thankful for your support in every way.

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Other Views: Hate speech is abhorrent; banning it is even more … – The Bakersfield Californian

This month’s events in Charlottesville, along with the threat of future protests by white supremacist groups, have sparked a national debate about placing legal limits on hate speech. The thinking is that some views are so abhorrent that they should be banned, and their advocates should not be allowed to assemble in public.

As long as it’s still legal to do so, we’d like to declare our abhorrence at the suggestion.

The rights of free speech and free assembly are bedrock principles of American democracy and major reasons why America’s founders revolted against British rule. There was a time when speaking against the British monarchy was deemed treasonous and subject to prison or even death. Even today, it’s technically illegal to call for abolition of the monarchy.

In the United States, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups are attempting a resurgence, bolstered in no small part by the sympathetic undertone of remarks issued on the campaign trail and in the White House by President Donald Trump. As repugnant as those groups are, it’s even more abhorrent to contemplate trashing the First Amendment to stifle their free speech.

Ahead of Trump’s inauguration, extreme left-wing groups began using the slogan “Punch a Nazi” as they advocated violent intervention to halt demonstrations by far-right groups. One self-declared anti-fascist punched white supremacist Richard Spencer, a Trump supporter, in the face on Inauguration Day while he was being interviewed on a Washington, D.C., street. It was not OK then, nor will it ever be.

Daryle Lamont Jenkins, a member of the anti-fascist movement, told National Public Radio on Thursday that violent confrontation is justifiable when police won’t stop white supremacists from marching. In other words, he believes in illegal vigilante action when police refuse to violate marchers’ constitutional rights.

Imagine how quickly our country would descend into anarchy if vigilante action ever did become justifiable. The minute it becomes acceptable to break the law to silence one group, all others become vulnerable to attack by anyone who disagrees with them.

That’s why the Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down government attempts to ban hate speech.

“A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in one assenting opinion this year.

Companies such as Twitter and Facebook have a legal right to limit how customers use their sites. The government doesn’t. The moment Americans empower the government to tell them what they can and cannot say, our nation and its cherished democratic principles will be doomed.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi – IRINnews.org


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Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi
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The commission has highlighted the prevalence of hate speech in Burundi, notably by the ruling party and its affiliates, saying such rhetoric, which often targets specific ethnic groups, reinforced human rights abuses. It has called for the state to

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Free Speech vs Hate Speech – HuffPost

Is it ever justified to abrogate the First Amendment right of free speech because of its content? As a dedicated ACLU member that’s a difficult question I’ve wrestled with all my life. Most of the time I come down on the side of, “I hate what you say but I’ll defend your right to say it” — but not always.

The one exception I’ll make is that I won’t defend hate speech that is clearly intended to intimidate and terrorize as a tool of oppression and discrimination — or to incite violence. (Note though, that words and ideas which just make someone uncomfortable, uneasy, or that they feel belittles them does not, in my opinion, rise to that bar.)

But advocating an exception to the First Amendment is not something I do lightly. It is we who stand for justice and equality who most often have our free speech squashed by wealth and power because they want to suppress our ideas. And precedents that we set in combating hate speech can — and will — be used to squelch us.

Images of torch-carrying white-supremacists marching through the UVA campus chanting racism, anti-Semitism, and the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil” reminded me of similar parades by German and Italian fascists which were used to intimidate and terrorize Jews, gypsies, gays, trade unionists, and political opponents. And perhaps even more so to intimidate all the good people who needed to be cowed into silence so that evil might triumph.

So too the purpose of KKK rallies & speeches, cross burnings, torch-bearing parades, and horn-honking car caravans of heavily-armed, white-robed Klansmen through Afro-American neighborhoods was to enforce segregation through terror and to deter Black men and women from challenging white-supremacy by daring to vote.

So yes, though I cherish the First Amendment, that kind of hate “speech” has to be fought and suppressed because it’s not just a form of speech it’s also a form of action clearly designed to intimidate and terrorize for the purpose of imposing by force a regime of oppression and injustice. Which is why we need to demand that the National Park Service refuse to issue a permit for an alt-right rally.

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Boston march against hate speech avoids Charlottesville chaos – Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to protest a “free speech” rally featuring far-right speakers a week after a woman was killed at a Virginia white-supremacist demonstration.

Rally organizers had invited several far-right speakers who were confined to a small pen that police set up in the historic Boston Common park to keep the two sides separate. The city avoided a repeat of last weekend’s bloody street battles in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman was killed.

Police estimated that as many as 40,000 people packed into the streets around the nation’s oldest park.

Officials had spent a week planning security for the event, mobilizing 500 police officers, including many on bikes, and placing barricades and large white dump trucks on streets along the park, aiming to deter car-based attacks like those seen in Charlottesville and Europe.

The rally never numbered more than a few dozen people, and its speakers could not be heard due to the shouts of those protesting it and the wide security cordon between the two sides. It wrapped up about an hour earlier than planned.

Protesters surrounded people leaving the rally, shouting “shame” and “go home” and occasionally throwing plastic water bottles. Police escorted several rally participants through the crowds, sometimes struggling against protesters who tried to stop them.

Some people dressed in black with covered faces several times swarmed rally attendees, including two men wearing the “Make America Great Again” caps from President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The violence in Charlottesville triggered the biggest domestic crisis yet for Trump, who provoked ire across the political spectrum for not immediately condemning white nationalists and for praising “very fine people” on both sides of the fight.

On Saturday, Trump on Twitter praised the Boston protesters.

“I want to applaud the many protesters in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!” Trump tweeted. “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!”

Thirty-three people were arrested, largely for scuffles in which some protesters threw rocks and bottles of urine at police dressed in riot gear, the Boston Police Department said.

“There was a little bit of a confrontation,” Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters, adding that “99.9 percent of the people who were here were here for the right reasons.”

Several protesters said they were unsurprised that the “Free Speech” event broke up early.

“They heard our message loud and clear: Boston will not tolerate hate,” said Owen Toney, a 58-year-old community activist who attended the anti-racism protest. “I think they’ll think again about coming here.”

U.S. tensions over hate speech have ratcheted up sharply after the Charlottesville clashes during the latest in a series of white supremacist marches.

White nationalists had converged in the Southern university city to defend a statue of Robert E. Lee, who led the pro-slavery Confederacy’s army during the Civil War, which ended in 1865.

A growing number of U.S. political leaders have called for the removal of statues honoring the Confederacy, with civil rights activists charging that they promote racism. Advocates of the statues contend they are a reminder of their heritage.

Organizers of Saturday’s rally in Boston denounced the white supremacist message and violence of Charlottesville and said their event would be peaceful.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai spoke at the rally, surrounded by supporters holding “Black Lives Matter” signs.

“We have a full spectrum of people here,” Ayyadurai said in a video of his speech posted on Twitter. “We have people from the Green Party here, we have Bernie (Sanders) supporters here, we’ve got people who believe in nationalism.”

Protesters also gathered on Saturday evening in Texas. In Dallas, where a Lee statue was vandalized overnight, about 3,000 people rallied near City Hall to demonstrate against white supremacy.

“Tear them down,” they chanted, referring to statues of Confederate figures.

A man who appeared waving a Confederate flag was quickly surrounded by demonstrators. “Shame on you,” they chanted. Police officers escorted the man away a few minutes later as the crowd cheered.

In Houston, a chapter of Black Lives Matter organized a rally to call for the removal of a “Spirit of the Confederacy” monument from a park.

While Boston has a reputation as one of the nation’s most liberal cities, it also has a history of racist outbursts, most notably riots against the desegregation of schools in the 1970s.

Karla Venegas, a 22-year-old who recently moved to Boston from California, said she was not surprised that the Free Speech rally petered out so quickly.

“They were probably scared away by the large crowd,” Venegas said.

Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus, Jonathan Allen in New York, Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles,; Editing by Mary Milliken, Lisa Von Ahn and Lisa Shumaker

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IRIN | Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi – IRINnews.org

IRINnews.org IRIN | Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi IRINnews.org History tells us Burundi needs to start prosecuting those guilty of hate speech and inciting violence. and more »

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Alt-Right Activists Thrust Silicon Valley Into Debate on Hate Speech … – NBCNews.com

Even as it wrestles with its own diversity issues, Silicon Valley has become the reluctant arbiter of the line where free speech crosses into hate speech in the wake of the deadly protests in Charlottesville. In an age where a lack of condemnation is tantamount to complicity, experts say tech firms have no choice but to disassociate from the alt-right, although as a growing number of tech companies cut off white nationalist groups from the platforms they use for communication, commerce, and content distribution, some have criticized the response as too little, too late. Theres a very intimate history between internet service providers and white supremacist groups, said Joan Donovan, media manipulation research lead at the Data & Society Research Institute. There was plenty of warning that this stuff was being coordinated in their spaces, she said, but tech companies initially resisted policing the activity. Historically, Silicon Valley has presented itself on embracing diversity in all its forms, albeit for pragmatic rather than political reasons: Cutthroat competition for users and talent means that companies cant afford to be exclusionary. The reason this is a heightened issue in technology is technology is much more heterogeneous its all over the world, said Dave Carvajal, CEO of a technology-focused recruiting firm. Its this belief people have that the tech industry should be the most modern, the most cutting edge, said Brian Kropp, HR Practice Leader at CEB (now Gartner). It also has this promise of capturing what tomorrow is going to be like. But putting these egalitarian principles into practice hasnt always been easy. Even before Charlottesville, companies have stumbled in the gap between bro culture and Silicon Valleys self-image of open-mindedness. Ubers ouster of CEO Travis Kalanick shone an embarrassing spotlight on the ingrained misogyny at some firms, and Googles recent firing of engineer James Damore, who argued in a widely distributed memo that women are biologically less well-suited for tech jobs, triggered accusations that the search giant is intolerant of conservative views. I think whats happening is a lot of these kinds of deep-rooted issues are being brought to the surface because of the political theater thats happening right now. Its stirring up a lot of this, Carvajal said. The violence at a white nationalist rally that left one counter-protester dead and others injured has brought this tension into sharper focus. Theyve been pushing very hard on many of these issues. Now theyre at a point where they have to make really hard decisions… whether or not they stand up to all the values theyve talked about and promoted, Kropp said. Some tech firms have been more receptive to curtailing alt-right activity than others, said Rashad Robinson, executive director of advocacy group Color of Change. A lot of them seem super-focused on terms of services and this idea of an open platform, he said. We hear things like they share our values but at this time theres not going to be an update to policy. Some of the challenges are logistical rather than ideological, since much of the enforcement cant be automated. It takes humans making judgement calls, and the line between talk and action online isnt always clear. There hasnt been a good model so far for policy around how to monitor or prevent certain amounts of content, Donovan said. Tech companies also dont want to alienate potential customers or trigger a public relations backlash. According to Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex, consumer sentiment metrics for Facebook, Apple and GoDaddy reflected little change this week. Theyre not getting a lot of credit from consumers, but theyre not being punished, either, he said. This could embolden other Silicon Valley leaders to terminate alt-right and white nationalist business relationships, Marzilli said, even if it costs them. These things are always a bit risky for companies from the perspective of dollars and cents, he said. Whether driven by a sense of moral obligation, concern about public perception or some combination of the two, last weekends violence seemed to be a wake-up call, Robinson said. Its certainly accelerated since Charlottesville, he said of companies willingness to cut ties with white nationalist groups. They started to think about their role in promoting this kind of talk, Donovan said. One thing these platforms really understand about themselves is they dont just allow speech to flow, they do the job of coordinating action They saw that this kind of open unmoderated speech online produced violent effects.

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Margaret Sullivan: To fight hate speech, don’t muzzle it – The Salt … – Salt Lake Tribune

White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Free speech or hate speech? – WWL First News

How does a university decide when to ban a guest for promoting hate from others who might be just as confrontational? LSU has told white nationalist Richard Spencer, he isn’t welcomed on campus touching off a controversy over free speech. It has many folks asking where is the line between freedom of speech and hate speech. Stephen Griffin is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Tulane University. He says a banned speaker could go to court, but the violence in Charlottesville could be a big factor in this case. ”Where we just had a situation that turned violent, which associated directly with Mr. Spencer, I would have to believe judges will give LSU leeway because the rule is not absolute,” said Griffin. Griffin says private universities would have more leeway keeping groups away but public universities like LSU could be walking a fine line. ”Private schools are in a completely different situation, so LSU might be a little more at risk for legal liability.” Griffin said. Griffin also says safety for the students is going to be of ultimate concern adding that parents will be watching carefully.

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Facebook needs to referee more hate speech after Charlottesville | Opinion – Philly.com

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg released a message on the horrible events in Charlottesville. The Facebook CEO and founders statement came later than Donald Trumps views about last weekend, but it was more profound than any of the things the president has said so far. Though the latter might not be too hard, in this case Zuckerbergs words are noteworthy. He wrote: We arent born hating each other. We arent born with such extreme views. He further mentioned a responsibility, which everybody has, to do what one can. I believe we can do something about the parts of our culture that teach a person to hate someone else. Its important that Facebook is a place where people with different views can share their ideas. Debate is part of a healthy society. But when someone tries to silence others or attacks them based on who theyare or what they believe, that hurts us all and is unacceptable. An important statement, coming from the CEO of the worlds leading social network. Facebooks main task may not be to protect and unite the country which is the role of the president but the company does have a social responsibility when it comes to its two billion worldwide users. Facebook and others must be fully aware of their influence on society. Sadly, Facebook and other social media have a lengthy and darkhistory of handling hate speech and comments endorsing violence or echoing racist ideology or organizing criminal actions or terrorist attacks. They rightly have been under pressure for their lax stance towards all kinds of hate on the internet. When it comes to terror attacks, social mediaare simply often not able to deal with the huge amount of propaganda. And sometimes Facebooks internal rules are so complex that theyaffect peoplewho are actually fighting hate by making it public. From my standpoint as a European, it is always puzzling how Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others have a tougher control on any presentation of even low-level nudity, like, only a little while ago, evenpictures of breastfeeding, in comparison to hate and violence.It is imperative that Facebook and other social networks take more responsibility for what is going on their platforms; it is not enough tojust provide the technology. At a sports match, there are not just two teams on the field. There also is a referee watching what is goingon.Social mediashould take amoreattentive look what is happeningon theirfield. There is no place for hate in our community, Zuckerbergs statement continues. Thats why weve always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism including what happened in Charlottesville. With the potential for more rallies, were watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm. Facebook did indeed remove content from white supremacists and neo-Nazis last week. Further actions by other tech companies also took place: Reddit announced it was banning groups and pages linked to far-right extremists.Furthermore, Go Daddy, the internet domain registrar and web-hosting service, took down the website of the National Stormer, which helped organize the violent neo-Nazi gathering in Virginia. These steps, taken by technology companies themselves, are welcome; otherwise, the state maytake matters into itsown hands, which does not always lead to the best results. Germany, for instance, just passed a highly controversial law to fine social media companies over hate speech this summer. Under the new Network Enforcement Act, companies face fines of up to $57 million for failing to remove illegal content within 24 hours. This includes racist or slanderous comments and incitements ofviolence. Digital rights activists have been criticizing the new law for infringing on free speech.Also,the initiativehas been criticizedas a single-handed action by one government, where a common approach wouldbe better. As technology evolves, there mustbe a discussion with all playersinvolved about how to deal with hate speech practically.There are many questions that must be resolved: What can be considered as freedom of speech and where is that line drawn? Where does censorship start? Will these actions violate the First Amendment? Can companies tackle some extremist views while ignoring others? Do the companies need more workers or more sophisticated artificial intelligence to improve their response to the problem and conduct proactive searches for hate speech? We wont always be perfect, but you have my commitment that well keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe, Zuckerberg wrote. Closer looks will be, at least, a start. Will this action by Facebook, Reddit, and other tech companies be permanent or is this a onetime change in the wake of Charlottesville? Time will tell. Taking more responsibility is justone step in the right direction with manymore to go. Published: August 21, 2017 3:01 AM EDT | Updated: August 21, 2017 6:32 AM EDT We recently asked you to support our journalism. The response, in a word, is heartening. You have encouraged us in our mission to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community. Subscriptions are available for home delivery of the print edition and for a digital replica viewable on your mobile device or computer. Subscriptions start as low as 25 per day. We’re thankful for your support in every way.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Hate Speech  Comments Closed

Other Views: Hate speech is abhorrent; banning it is even more … – The Bakersfield Californian

This month’s events in Charlottesville, along with the threat of future protests by white supremacist groups, have sparked a national debate about placing legal limits on hate speech. The thinking is that some views are so abhorrent that they should be banned, and their advocates should not be allowed to assemble in public. As long as it’s still legal to do so, we’d like to declare our abhorrence at the suggestion. The rights of free speech and free assembly are bedrock principles of American democracy and major reasons why America’s founders revolted against British rule. There was a time when speaking against the British monarchy was deemed treasonous and subject to prison or even death. Even today, it’s technically illegal to call for abolition of the monarchy. In the United States, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups are attempting a resurgence, bolstered in no small part by the sympathetic undertone of remarks issued on the campaign trail and in the White House by President Donald Trump. As repugnant as those groups are, it’s even more abhorrent to contemplate trashing the First Amendment to stifle their free speech. Ahead of Trump’s inauguration, extreme left-wing groups began using the slogan “Punch a Nazi” as they advocated violent intervention to halt demonstrations by far-right groups. One self-declared anti-fascist punched white supremacist Richard Spencer, a Trump supporter, in the face on Inauguration Day while he was being interviewed on a Washington, D.C., street. It was not OK then, nor will it ever be. Daryle Lamont Jenkins, a member of the anti-fascist movement, told National Public Radio on Thursday that violent confrontation is justifiable when police won’t stop white supremacists from marching. In other words, he believes in illegal vigilante action when police refuse to violate marchers’ constitutional rights. Imagine how quickly our country would descend into anarchy if vigilante action ever did become justifiable. The minute it becomes acceptable to break the law to silence one group, all others become vulnerable to attack by anyone who disagrees with them. That’s why the Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down government attempts to ban hate speech. “A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in one assenting opinion this year. Companies such as Twitter and Facebook have a legal right to limit how customers use their sites. The government doesn’t. The moment Americans empower the government to tell them what they can and cannot say, our nation and its cherished democratic principles will be doomed. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Hate Speech  Comments Closed

Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi – IRINnews.org

IRINnews.org Hate speech stirs trouble in Burundi IRINnews.org The commission has highlighted the prevalence of hate speech in Burundi, notably by the ruling party and its affiliates, saying such rhetoric, which often targets specific ethnic groups, reinforced human rights abuses. It has called for the state to …

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Hate Speech  Comments Closed

Free Speech vs Hate Speech – HuffPost

Is it ever justified to abrogate the First Amendment right of free speech because of its content? As a dedicated ACLU member that’s a difficult question I’ve wrestled with all my life. Most of the time I come down on the side of, “I hate what you say but I’ll defend your right to say it” — but not always. The one exception I’ll make is that I won’t defend hate speech that is clearly intended to intimidate and terrorize as a tool of oppression and discrimination — or to incite violence. (Note though, that words and ideas which just make someone uncomfortable, uneasy, or that they feel belittles them does not, in my opinion, rise to that bar.) But advocating an exception to the First Amendment is not something I do lightly. It is we who stand for justice and equality who most often have our free speech squashed by wealth and power because they want to suppress our ideas. And precedents that we set in combating hate speech can — and will — be used to squelch us. Images of torch-carrying white-supremacists marching through the UVA campus chanting racism, anti-Semitism, and the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil” reminded me of similar parades by German and Italian fascists which were used to intimidate and terrorize Jews, gypsies, gays, trade unionists, and political opponents. And perhaps even more so to intimidate all the good people who needed to be cowed into silence so that evil might triumph. So too the purpose of KKK rallies & speeches, cross burnings, torch-bearing parades, and horn-honking car caravans of heavily-armed, white-robed Klansmen through Afro-American neighborhoods was to enforce segregation through terror and to deter Black men and women from challenging white-supremacy by daring to vote. So yes, though I cherish the First Amendment, that kind of hate “speech” has to be fought and suppressed because it’s not just a form of speech it’s also a form of action clearly designed to intimidate and terrorize for the purpose of imposing by force a regime of oppression and injustice. Which is why we need to demand that the National Park Service refuse to issue a permit for an alt-right rally. The Morning Email Wake up to the day’s most important news.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Hate Speech  Comments Closed

Boston march against hate speech avoids Charlottesville chaos – Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to protest a “free speech” rally featuring far-right speakers a week after a woman was killed at a Virginia white-supremacist demonstration. Rally organizers had invited several far-right speakers who were confined to a small pen that police set up in the historic Boston Common park to keep the two sides separate. The city avoided a repeat of last weekend’s bloody street battles in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman was killed. Police estimated that as many as 40,000 people packed into the streets around the nation’s oldest park. Officials had spent a week planning security for the event, mobilizing 500 police officers, including many on bikes, and placing barricades and large white dump trucks on streets along the park, aiming to deter car-based attacks like those seen in Charlottesville and Europe. The rally never numbered more than a few dozen people, and its speakers could not be heard due to the shouts of those protesting it and the wide security cordon between the two sides. It wrapped up about an hour earlier than planned. Protesters surrounded people leaving the rally, shouting “shame” and “go home” and occasionally throwing plastic water bottles. Police escorted several rally participants through the crowds, sometimes struggling against protesters who tried to stop them. Some people dressed in black with covered faces several times swarmed rally attendees, including two men wearing the “Make America Great Again” caps from President Donald Trump’s campaign. The violence in Charlottesville triggered the biggest domestic crisis yet for Trump, who provoked ire across the political spectrum for not immediately condemning white nationalists and for praising “very fine people” on both sides of the fight. On Saturday, Trump on Twitter praised the Boston protesters. “I want to applaud the many protesters in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!” Trump tweeted. “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!” Thirty-three people were arrested, largely for scuffles in which some protesters threw rocks and bottles of urine at police dressed in riot gear, the Boston Police Department said. “There was a little bit of a confrontation,” Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters, adding that “99.9 percent of the people who were here were here for the right reasons.” Several protesters said they were unsurprised that the “Free Speech” event broke up early. “They heard our message loud and clear: Boston will not tolerate hate,” said Owen Toney, a 58-year-old community activist who attended the anti-racism protest. “I think they’ll think again about coming here.” U.S. tensions over hate speech have ratcheted up sharply after the Charlottesville clashes during the latest in a series of white supremacist marches. White nationalists had converged in the Southern university city to defend a statue of Robert E. Lee, who led the pro-slavery Confederacy’s army during the Civil War, which ended in 1865. A growing number of U.S. political leaders have called for the removal of statues honoring the Confederacy, with civil rights activists charging that they promote racism. Advocates of the statues contend they are a reminder of their heritage. Organizers of Saturday’s rally in Boston denounced the white supremacist message and violence of Charlottesville and said their event would be peaceful. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai spoke at the rally, surrounded by supporters holding “Black Lives Matter” signs. “We have a full spectrum of people here,” Ayyadurai said in a video of his speech posted on Twitter. “We have people from the Green Party here, we have Bernie (Sanders) supporters here, we’ve got people who believe in nationalism.” Protesters also gathered on Saturday evening in Texas. In Dallas, where a Lee statue was vandalized overnight, about 3,000 people rallied near City Hall to demonstrate against white supremacy. “Tear them down,” they chanted, referring to statues of Confederate figures. A man who appeared waving a Confederate flag was quickly surrounded by demonstrators. “Shame on you,” they chanted. Police officers escorted the man away a few minutes later as the crowd cheered. In Houston, a chapter of Black Lives Matter organized a rally to call for the removal of a “Spirit of the Confederacy” monument from a park. While Boston has a reputation as one of the nation’s most liberal cities, it also has a history of racist outbursts, most notably riots against the desegregation of schools in the 1970s. Karla Venegas, a 22-year-old who recently moved to Boston from California, said she was not surprised that the Free Speech rally petered out so quickly. “They were probably scared away by the large crowd,” Venegas said. Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus, Jonathan Allen in New York, Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles,; Editing by Mary Milliken, Lisa Von Ahn and Lisa Shumaker

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Hate Speech  Comments Closed


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