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Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove

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Facebook
Facebook faces $1.63 bn in EU fine over fresh data breach. VOA

Social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have greatly accelerated their removals of online hate speech, reviewing over two thirds of complaints within 24 hours, new EU figures show.

The European Union has piled pressure on social media firms to increase their efforts to fight the proliferation of extremist content and hate speech on their platforms, even threatening them with legislation.

Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube signed a code of conduct with the EU in May 2016 to review most complaints within a 24-hour timeframe.

The companies managed to meet that target in 81 percent of cases, EU figures seen by Reuters show, compared with 51 percent in May 2017 when the European Commission last monitored their compliance with the code of conduct.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has said previously she does not want to see a removal rate of 100 percent as that could impinge on free speech. She has also said she is not in favor of legislating as Germany has done.

Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech
Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech, VOA

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove hate speech quickly enough went into force in Germany this year.

“I do not hide that I am not in favor of hard regulation because the freedom of speech for me is almost absolute,” Jourova told reporters in December.

“In case of doubt it should remain online because freedom of expression is [in a] privileged position.”

Of the hate speech flagged to the companies, almost half of it was found on Facebook, the figures show, while 24 percent was on YouTube and 26 percent on Twitter.

The most common ground for hatred identified by the Commission was ethnic origins, followed by anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia, including expressions of hatred against migrants and refugees.

Following pressure from several European governments, social media companies stepped up their efforts to tackle extremist content online, including through the use of artificial intelligence.

The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017, VOA

Also read: Social media use may affect teenagers’ real life relationship

The Commission will likely issue a recommendation, a soft law instrument, on how companies should take down extremist content related to militant groups at the end of February, an official said, as it is less nuanced than hate speech and needs to be taken offline more quickly. (VOA)

Next Story

Now, Google G Suite Has 6 Million Paid Customers (Tech Report)

The tech giant said there is now a hosted repository of related public datasets available to explore and analyze for free from the Google Cloud Console

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Google
Google G Suite faces competition from Microsoft's Office 365 set of Cloud-based services. Pixabay

Googles G Suite now has six million paid customers, up from 5 million in February last year and the company’s video calling service Meet is witnessing 25 times more traction since January.

According to a CNBC report, quoting Google executive Javier Soltero, the paying customers for Google’s G Suite bundle of productivity software are coming from businesses, schools and governments. Google G Suite faces competition from Microsoft’s Office 365 set of Cloud-based services.

“The business of G Suite is growing at an incredibly healthy and, frankly for me, surprising rate,” Soltero, vice president and general manager of G Suite at Google, was quoted as saying.
Google Meet is different from the Hangouts, which is available to all with a Google account.

In a separate blog post, Google said it has announced free access to advanced Meet capabilities to G Suite and G Suite for Education customers.

It includes room for up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.

Google
Googles G Suite now has six million paid customers, up from 5 million in February last year and the company’s video calling service Meet is witnessing 25 times more traction since January. Pixabay

“Lots of people are working from home now for the first time. This means that networks are strained with more people accessing their email and internet from home, as well as taking part in video conferences,” said Google.

The tech giant said there is now a hosted repository of related public datasets available to explore and analyze for free from the Google Cloud Console.

ALSO READ: “War Room” Set Up May Help Businesses Sail Through Coronavirus Crisis: Experts

These include the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Global Health Data from the World Bank, and more. (IANS)