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Twitter Under Fire Again for Failing to Ban White Supremacists as Charlottesville Anniversary Nears
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=47379"><span class="small">Dell Cameron, Gizmodo</span></a>   
Saturday, 03 August 2019 13:21

Cameron writes: "With the anniversary of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, approaching, Twitter is facing increased pressure from a nationwide coalition of civil rights organizations to once and for all take a stand against the white supremacists that operate freely on its platform."

Twitter. (photo: Getty Images)
Twitter. (photo: Getty Images)


Twitter Under Fire Again for Failing to Ban White Supremacists as Charlottesville Anniversary Nears

By Dell Cameron, Gizmodo

03 August 19

 

ith the anniversary of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, approaching, Twitter is facing increased pressure from a nationwide coalition of civil rights organizations to once and for all take a stand against the white supremacists that operate freely on its platform.

Facebook and YouTube have taken (with mixed results) at least some action against white supremacists on their sites, but Twitter seems more content with largely ignoring the problem, the groups charge. The company has made several policy changes within the past several months, but none explicitly banning the racist ideology.

When faced with questions about why there are so many self-proclaimed white nationalists freely using his service, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey typically deflects, pointing to the company’s policies around violent and extremist content. But its rules are notoriously unenforced.

“People are being taken down who are protesting racism and people are staying up who are wildly racist and organizing racist rallies using social media and using Twitter, in particular,” Jessica González, vice president of strategy and senior counsel at Free Press, told Gizmodo in a recent interview.

Next week, Change the Terms—a coalition of digital and civil rights groups working to get social networks to adopt strict policies against hateful activities, including defamation targeting individuals or groups based on their “actual or perceived race”—is hosting a conference call with, among others, community activists from Charlottesville to discuss how “online hate turns into offline violence.”

Twitter’s failure to address the spread of racist ideologies in the two years since the deadly United the Right rally in Charlottesville, during which a man espousing neo-Nazi beliefs murdered 32-year-old Heather Heyer, has allowed “white supremacists to organize, fundraise, recruit and normalize attacks on diverse communities and threaten all users,” the groups said in a press release emailed to Gizmodo.

“Twitter’s latest policy announcement limits dehumanizing tweets against religious groups but allows tweets that target individuals or groups based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability,” the groups said.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on the groups’ claims and pointed Gizmodo to the company’s policies against the use of dehumanizing speech targeting individuals or religious groups. The company says it plans to further expand the latter policy to cover more groups at a later date.

González is expected to join the call alongside Don Gathers, co-founder of the Charlottesville chapter of Black Lives Matter; Lisa Woolfork, a fellow organizer, academic, and author of Embodying Slavery in Contemporary Culture; and Steven Renderos, co-director of the Oakland-based nonprofit MediaJustice.

Change the Terms includes 55 human, civil, and digital rights groups, including Free Press, Color of Change, and Muslim Advocates. The coalition worked closely with Facebook in its civil rights audit, which resulted in several changes to the company’s policies with regards to hateful content.

As with Twitter, however, many of the groups’ members spoke out against the changes at Facebook, labeling them “woefully inadequate” and “not comprehensive enough.”

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-1 # Citizen Mike 2019-08-03 23:21
I'd rather have them out in the open on Twittetr so we can identify them and keep an eye on them. Let them expose themselves. Better than driving them underground to scheme.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-08-04 06:50
I'm not convinced at all that social media sites should become the censors of speech around the world. Of course, threats of violence should be banned. Freedom of speech does have some limitations. You are not free to threaten violence against anyone.

But racist ideologies, false beliefs, and all manner of opinions that many people would not approve of are generally protected by free speech codes. In a free society, we have to tolerate a lot of things that are offensive to us.

The problem is that speech and expressions of opinion are generally in the eye of the beholder. For example,

"changes to the company’s policies with regards to hateful content."

What is "hateful content."

1. Why is pornography not hateful content. Some say the internet has more porn than anything else.

2. why is the support for war or the support for troops not hateful content. We know what war does. The US wars over the last two centuries have almost entirely been against darker skinned people. The US kills them and utterly destroys their cultures. Why is this not hateful and why is it not banned. US troops whom we are required to support call the people of Iraq "sand niggers," "haggis," and other racist and hateful things.

3. why is the worship of wealth not hateful speech. The billionaires of the earth cause death and suffering to billions of people. Why are they represented in glowing terms. Are they not hateful?
 
 
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-08-04 06:53
Twitter's second largest owner is Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. It is hard to imagine a Saudi Prince standing up for decency, diversity, and progress. Maybe all of Twitter should be banned.