Social Media and Hate Speech: Who Gets to Decide?

Social Media and Hate Speech: Who Gets to Decide?



Social media have been called upon to censor
hate speech and they've tried to do so, but with no more success than any other attempt
at censoring hate speech by governments throughout history and around the world. Hate speech is not a recognized legal concept
in the United States, which is why I use the air quote. Many people are surprised to learn that the
first amendment only applies to government. I understand the moral satisfaction of calling
for suppressing ideas that we hate, but experience shows that that censorship
does more harm than good. Countries around the world, including comparable
democratic countries in Europe, Canada, Australia, and so forth have been censoring hate speech
for several decades. Not surprisingly, a very large coalition of
civil liberties and civil rights organizations have been complaining to Facebook for years that it has punished as hate speech – their
advocacy of equality. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement
on behalf of the pipeline protestors. A more effective response to any idea we hate,
or consider hateful or dangerous is not to silence it, but to refute it, to explain why. A compassionate approach is much more effective
than an angry, hostile demonizing approach. What is the lesser of two evils? Would we rather trust ourselves
and our fellow citizens to ignore and rebut messages that are hateful or would we rather trust either government
officials or powerful corporate entities to take those decisions away from us? I'd say the lesser of two evils is making
our own decisions.

49 thoughts on “Social Media and Hate Speech: Who Gets to Decide?

  1. I think the mistake here is to allow that the censors have a noble reason behind what they are doing. As if maybe they are suppressing something bad. Like Hate. Well maybe some things should be hated. Maybe many of the things said may have a point. We don't know unless we speak of it. That they call for violence is banned, well maybe that has to be. But even there we may be going to far. No censorship should be the calling card of everyone. Are you so sure that you way is the right way and that censorship should protect you side. What happens when censorship is controlled by the other side.

  2. Amazing, is this outlet of "news" serious? Most important, are you not complicit in another illegal war, another US war for Israel , or to be kind, some racist fanatics that are zionist swines.

  3. What I find interesting is both leftist and rightists (if that's a word) both feel like their views are being censored on YouTube. (at least going by their comments in their respective content). If you just scroll through both, and you'll find to some degree they're almost mirroring the concerns of the other. However, if either is being censored, I'm unsure. I've certainly seen channels banned and videos taken down which is cause for concern, as it's creating a greater division.

  4. Some violent left wing journalist* from Vox tells Ewe Tube to demonetize and censor people with opinions he doesn't like, and Ewe Tube is only too happy to oblige. That's how the left rolls: suppression, intimidation, de-platforming, violence, tyranny. The left thinks people with opposing opinions are BAD PEOPLE, not people with bad opinions. Note to "the resistance": if your views coincide with global corporations, YOU are not the resistance, you are the establishment.

  5. Free speech is one of the most important things in our world. “Hate speech” is unconstitutional and should not exist. Unless it is a direct threat of violence there should not be punishment solely for what someone believes (no matter how “alt right” or “nazi” it is)

  6. Hate speech is new speak Orwellian new speak along with many other new twisted terms emerging its incredibly calculated

  7. If you can’t see the trap being set by the government nsa cia Facebook Twitter YouTube google and world bankers and controllers oh not to mention the gulag universities run by communists you gotta be a fuckn moron

  8. Having gone over this again and again in my head, I think hate speech can be incredibly hurtful, but should in no way be illegal. However, it seems like social media is (unfortunately) within its right to ban folks for speech? Since they are not the government?

  9. Hate SPEECH it is speech. And what is hate speech? How can speech cause harm? Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. What is the gain from banning hate speech? It is an excuse to censor

  10. There is no such thing as hate speech…I can use subjective hateful speech, but you nor the government or social media do not have the right to censor you to drive their liberal agendas…that is publishing, not a platform…and there are literally thousands of examples where conservatives FB pages and Twitter accounts are taken down and identical liberal sites are never bothered…that fat pig Rosie O'Donnell and Kathy Griffin and Madonna and Deniro have all at one time or another threatened the President…I think President Trump is going to have to start imprisoning some of these so called journalists and social media executives…it's a sad day when it comes to this but if drastic measures aren't taken it will threaten the very fabric of our nation

  11. You are absolutely wrong about the first amendment only applying to the government. I'm sick of hearing that the freedom of speech does not apply to private companies. It certainly does.

    Ever hear of the 14th Amendment? Being the president of the ACLU, you certainly should have. The 14th Amendment changed all that. The 14th Amendment applies the 1st Amendment to private entities because picking and choosing who is heard is discrimination. Ever hear of the Communications Decency Act? It makes it very clear that providers of interactive computer services must be uncensored, less the service be treated as a publisher and subject to the laws and liabilities thereof. Every hear of Marsh vs. Alabama? In that decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that private ownership 'does not always mean absolute domination.' The court went on to point out that 'the more a private owner opens his property to the public in general, the more his rights are circumscribed by the statutory and constitutional rights of those who are invited in.' In that ruling the Supreme Court made direct reference to both the 1st and 14th Amendments.

    If I discriminated renting an apartment to someone based on their religion, color, sexual preference, or political beliefs; then I would be subject to litigation and prosecution. When the heck is the Justice Department, and the clowns we have in political office (both Democrats and Republicans) going to stop ignoring this and go after these social media companies with the same fervor with which they would pursue and prosecute me as a private home owner.

  12. Controlling hate speech is an end run around to control modes of expression, which is the means to control the narrative. Control that and you control society.

  13. Controlling the modes of expression is the means to control the narrative. Control that and you control the entire society.

  14. The biggest problem indeed is that who gets to decide whats right or wrong to say. Is right way to tackle difficult emotions from some subject to supress different opinions with force and censorship. I think history has good examples of where it can lead to. We should rather point the spotlight on things that we see as issues and have two way respectful conversation to understand what lies behind somebodys/some groups opinions or words.

    If something brings up difficult emotions in us, we should seek from within why we are offended or feel bad and try to understand the other person with respect even if his/hers opinion is way different from ours. If we want to coexist, with our all differences, we should seek understanding and productive dialog. Speak and listen with open mind and heart.

    Btw. Theres some "haha" jokes about her eyes in comments. Thats fine too, to see some differences funny, but I honestly think they are fascinating and very beautiful, just- and maybe a little bit because of – the way they are. Theres something uniquely sweet in the way her other eye is little bit oblique (I hope thats the right word for not being straight, Im not native english speaker). That, and the sparkle in her eyes made me think, they were most beautiful thing I saw today. Theres countless of different kind of jewels in form of human beauty and we usually appreciate only the ones we are most used to. I think her jewels are bright and perfect as they are. What an wise and beautiful woman.

  15. ANY restriction of free speech is in FACT illegal!
    ……..
    And ANY online forum CAN and SHOULD be sued into bankruptcy if they in ANY way restrict free speech!

  16. Supressing hatred with hatred usually, if not always, generates even more hatred. Shutting people up is not a long term solution. Personally, I think replacing hatred with love and kindness might work.

  17. Nadine has been on the forefront of Free Speech advocacy for 4-5 decades. Too bad networks & media don’t call her cuz she’s against limits on free speech. She’s badly needed in the current debate

  18. I just wish Youtube would stop RECOMMENDING fascist, xenopohibic, and antifeminist videos.
    I'm not calling for censorship but it's absurd that Youtube seems to do everything in it's power to promote those channels.

  19. The first amendment. It has already decided, some time ago. Unless it’s an overt threat, slander, libel, or something like yelling “fire!” in a crowded movie theater that isn’t on fire in an attempt to create chaos, it’s protected speech. “Hate speech” has no legal, objective meaning in America, whatsoever. There are potentially 300,000,000+ “definitions” for it here

  20. For the next mass shooter, your target should be the YouTube headquarters. They control speech so they need to be aborted.

  21. The censoring of Facebook posts from conservatives for example (concealing posts from other users, or removing them altogether) discourages users from posting anything at all, and even devolves into self-censorship. There is little incentive to share your opinions and links with others, if you know that they will never be seen by anyone other than yourself. It is possible that women and younger users (who are more inclined to be concerned with appearing popular and/or feeling socially accepted) even shape their political views in line with a feedback loop of likes, shares and agreeable comments. When their posts are censored — or only visible to people who will leave negative feedback — they alter their views to feel socially accepted again. The term "digital gulag" is very useful in describing this phenomenon, of hiding or altering one's political beliefs in order to avoid draconian measures and social exclusion.

  22. Conservatives: Private companies shouldn't be forced to serve people who's views they disagree with!
    Also conservatives: Private companies have to let us spread hate and if they don't they're violating our first amendment!

  23. Free speech rights matter little if nobody will hear or read your words. Usually, the places we gather to debate are privately owned online spaces, like Facebook or these Youtube comment sections. They can, and do, regulate the speech. Sometimes their human moderators will use their personal opinions about what is hateful to ban speech.

    On Quora, I and other people have had our answers collapsed because they allegedly violated the "Be Nice, Be Respectful" rule, even though the wording of that rule clearly indicates that it's designed to stop personal attacks; our posts there didn't attack groups of people, let alone target any individual.

  24. All tyrannical governments throughout history have been successful at stopping "hate" speech. Now hate speech might be defined as questioning immigration policies, being critical of the transgender who wants to take a shower next to your sister after a workout, or just wearing a MAGA hat. Is there really anyone so dumb, they can't see this "hate" speech thing for what it is? It's a tool to silence the left's political enemies.

  25. Wise words Nadine, hope the message is heard by those who seem deaf for anything else then their own opinion

  26. Very dangerous that a handful of very powerful social media corporations get to decide what free speech is. There is no free speech if you can only have a voice if you comply with their rules. If they get to choose the information then they control peoples thoughts. It's funny though because all these big corporations are capitalists and by silencing conservative views it allows the left wing in and the left wing agenda is against big money making companies like Apple, Google, Facbook etc and will tax the crap out of them. Be careful what you wish for 😉

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