May 31, 2016—Under pressure from the European Union and “anti-hate” groups, top social media companies are escalating their responses to perceived “hate speech,” which may undermine open platforms for global communication. And it’s all being done in the name of fighting “terrorism.”
Facebook, Google (YouTube), Twitter, and Microsoft, in tandem with the EU’s executive branch, stated Tuesday that within 24 hours, a majority of flagged content deemed hateful against skin color, ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion, would be taken down.
“Hate speech” will be “expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame,” the European Commission and the social networking companies said.
“We remain committed to letting the Tweets flow,” said Karen White, European public policy head for Twitter. “However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.”
“With a global community of 1.6 billion people we work hard to balance giving people the power to express themselves whilst ensuring we provide a respectful environment,” said Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook. “There’s no place for hate speech on Facebook.”
The companies agreed to develop stronger relationships with groups that have sued some of them in the past. The Union of French Jewish Students, or UEJF, sued Facebook, Google, and Twitter recently, claiming that 90 percent of posts the UEJF reported as “hate speech” remained online 15 days later. Other French groups involved were SOS Racisme and SOS Homophobie.
Will this be effective against violence or embolden more haters? Comment below!