Social platforms crack down on hate
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Social media platforms have stepped up and started banning far-right and white supremacy accounts to remove hate speech and violence from their platforms.
Photo illustration: Amira Lin; Source: Reddit, Pixabay
Reddit this week issued new site guidelines or ‘reddiquettes’ that everyone on the platform must follow. Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman stated, “Reddit’s mission is to bring community and belonging to everybody in the world, and there is speech in the world and on Reddit that prevents other people from doing so… Harassing speech or hateful speech prevents people from coming to Reddit and feeling safe and sharing their vulnerabilities ... So if we have speech on Reddit that’s preventing people from using Reddit the way that we intend it to be used, or that prevents us from achieving our mission, then it’s actually a very easy decision.”
One of the 2,000 subreddits banned was ‘The_Donald’ community which housed over 790,000 users and was dedicated to post content about Trump. The communities that were closed were violating these new guidelines. ‘The_Donald’ in particular was allowing users to target and harass others with hate speech.
The change has come a few weeks after the BLM protests led to several forums on the site going dark in protest of Reddit’s policies that allowed racist content.
Twitter has been moderating Trump’s and The White House's tweets and adding links to fact check statements. Twitter didn’t remove the tweets but instead placed it behind a block that stated ‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.’ Meaning users could click to read it but couldn’t like it or reply. They also added links to fact check Trump’s statements about voting. This has led to POTUS signing an executive order to amend the Communications Decency Act which currently gives social media companies authority to moderate speech on their platforms as he believes they are being bias against conservatives.
Facebook’s lack of action and lax approach to hate speech and violent content caused over 400 brands, like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Unilever and Lego, to pull ads from the platform for 30 days joining the ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign. This comes after years of inaction from the brand but most recently after the same tweet that was moderated on Twitter (above), was posted on Facebook and remained untouched.
Reddit’s ban also pushed YouTube to remove a range of white supremacy accounts. This comes after YouTube re-wrote their policies to ban accounts that are “alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status”. This update in the guidelines has seen a termination of over 25,000 channels that violated their hate speech policies.
Twitch users called for a #TWITCHBLACKOUT asking users to step out of the platform for a day to push Twitch to do more to recognise victims of sexual and racial abuse. This comes after many claims of sexual harassment in gaming have come out. Twitch has since responded saying they will start banning users involved in sexual abuse or harassment.
Further to this, Twitch has also temporarily suspended Trump’s account due to hateful content in his campaign speeches.
Source: Twitter via BBC.