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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , white supremacy,   

    YouTube’s livestream of hate speech hearings was flooded by hate speech 

    YouTube's livestream of hate speech hearings was flooded by hate speech

    In the wake of the deadly mass shooting that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand by an alleged white nationalist, the US House Judiciary Committee held a hearing about hat speech online. If you’ll recall the gunman in the Christchurch shooting that left 50 victims dead not only livestreamed his attack on Facebook but also posted a hate-filled manifesto online. Facebook and Google were called before the committee to address what steps they were taking to combat the problem. Both Facebook and Google defended the practices they use in order to prevent online hate. However, Google, who owns YouTube, may have spoken too soon.

    The hearing was being livestreamed on YouTube and about 30 minutes into the livesstream many YouTube users were leaving racist and anti-Semitic comments in the stream’s live chat and comment section. At that point, YouTube shut down the chat and closed the comments section but by then the damage had already been done. Committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, was handed a sampling of the hateful comments and read them aloud during the hearing. “This just illustrates part of the problem we’re dealing with,” Nadler said.

    Unfortunately, just because YouTube clamped down on one livestream doesn’t mean the hate speech went away. Instead, they just relocated to other livestreams of the hearing. At least one recognized hate group ran their own livestream of the hearing and even raised money for themselves through YouTube’s own platform. Because of social media, there hasn’t been a surge in hate groups like this since the days of the civil rights movement. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are over 1,000 organized hate groups in the US alone. Violence committed by some of these groups has also been on a sharp rise in the past few years as well.

    What remains to be seen is if these social media platforms can actually develop effective safeguards to screen for hate speech or will it just remain business as usual? Hate speech has been a problem since the early days of the internet and no major platform has been able to tackle it convincingly.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , white supremacy   

    Facebook will try to ban white nationalist content 

    Facebook to ban white nationalist content

    Last September, Motherboard reported that Facebook treated white supremacy, white nationalism, and white separatism as different things. According to a leaked memo, Facebook said that white supremacist content should be deleted from the platform while white nationalist and white separatist content should be allowed as it’s not necessarily racist. As you can imagine, this created a backlash against Facebook since most rational people believe that white supremacists, nationalists, and separatists are all cut from the same cloth. If that cloth were to be literal we assume it would be in the shape of a pointy hood.

    More recently, Facebook has announced that they will now be cracking down on white separatist and white nationalist content. However, don’t expect racism to magically disappear from Facebook. According to a follow-up by Motherboard, the content has to be pretty overt in its objective to be flagged by Facebook.

    Specifically, Facebook will now ban content that includes explicit praise, support, or representation of white nationalism or separatism. Phrases such as “I am a proud white nationalist” and “Immigration is tearing this country apart; white separatism is the only answer” will now be banned, according to the company. Implicit and coded white nationalism and white separatism will not be banned immediately, in part because the company said it’s harder to detect and remove.

    It’s that last part that is really going to be the problem for Facebook because if anybody knows how to spread their message in code, it’s white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Messages from these types of groups will often contain certain phrases known as ‘dog whistles’ in order to either communicate with other members or recruit new ones.

    I’m sure somebody reading this will be asking “Why is it only white separatists that are being banned?” And we’ll be more than happy to remind you that this isn’t about Facebook just as much as it really wasn’t about water fountains back in the day.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on September 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , white supremacy   

    Is Facebook exhibiting shades of gray when it comes to white supremacy? 

    Is Facebook exhibiting shades of gray when it comes to white supremacy?

    When I first read Motherboard’s expose on Facebook’s policy regarding white nationalism I almost literally raised my palm to my face. Facebook’s current and constant PR disasters remind me of an episode of The Simpsons where erstwhile villain Sideshow Bob keeps walking into a rake no matter which way he turns.

    In this latest controversy, Motherboard, the tech arm of Vice News, obtained allegedly leaked documents from Facebook that determines which content is allowed to remain on their platform when it comes to the white supremacy movement that’s been emboldened in our country since a certain official was elected to office. According to Motherboard, Facebook tells its moderators that white supremacy is not allowed on Facebook, however, posts that advocate white separatism and white nationalism are allowed. While those among the goose-stepping set may argue that those are three different philosophies, they’re all cut from the same cloth. A cloth I might add that’s fashioned into a pointy hat with two eye holes.

    After Motherboard brought their findings to Facebook, the social media giant said they were going to review their policies regarding this kind of content in the future. However, the question needs to be asked, why were these kind of semantics allowed to happen in the first place. In my opinion is all goes back to the theory that Facebook thrives on this kind of controversy on their site as it is said to keep Facebook users engaged in their platform. There have been too many examples lately of Facebook harboring hate speech in order to maintain their userbase numbers. Not just in the US but across the world. Facebook has declined from a place where people kept in touch with old friends to become a global hate machine and Facebook likes it that way.

     
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