U.S. Internet giants Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google and Microsoft Corp. pledged to tackle online hate speech in less than 24 hours as part of a joint commitment with the European Union to combat the use of social media by terrorists.
Beyond national laws that criminalize hate speech, there is a need to ensure such activity by Internet users is “expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame,” the companies and the European Commission said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
Now how could this be a bad thing, really. Personally I welcome the new robotic overlords of our speech.
I’m sure there would never be a need to increase the criteria beyond simply “hate speech.”
A French Jewish youth group, UEJF, sued Twitter, Facebook and Google in Paris this month over how they monitor hate speech on the web. In the course of about six weeks in April and May, members of French anti-discrimination groups flagged unambiguous hate speech that they said promoted racism, homophobia or anti-Semitism.
I’m sure that this attempt to limit hate speech would never be used to curtail the speech on Twitter, Facebook and Google by peaceful, yet outspoken folks.
Free speech. Use it while you’ve got it.
Update: So freaking related: