Tuesday April 23, 2019
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YouTube Shuts Down The Comment Section on Its Livestream on Expressing Of Anti-Semitic Views

"Overaggressive enforcement can also inadvertently silence voices that are using the platform to make themselves heard on these important issues," Walden said.

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Echoing the remark, Google's Walden said that removing hate speech can be complex because content may be offensive but not violate YouTube's policies against hate speech or incite violence.  Pixabay

Google-owned YouTube shut down the comment section on its livestream of a congressional hearing on white nationalism after it got filled with hateful comments.

Many of the comments on the livestream expressed anti-Semitic views or decried multicultural societies while others expressed white pride, the CNET reported on Tuesday.

Facebook’s public policy director Neil Potts and Alexandria Walden, counsel for free expression and human rights at Google, had on Tuesday appeared before the US House Judiciary Committee to discuss the role of the platforms when white nationalism is on the rise.

Both companies have been under mounting pressure to combat hate speech following a string of hate-ridden events. They have also been accused of fuelling white supremacy.

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Potts told the committee that it is not “simple” for the world’s largest social network, with over two billion users worldwide, to decide which posts it should keep and which it should pull down, because of the huge amount of information that flows through the site. Pixabay

The flood of toxic comments on the livestream during the congressional hearing demonstrated the difficulty tech companies, which often rely on users to flag inappropriate comments, face while monitoring activity on their platforms.

“Hate speech has no place on YouTube. We’ve invested heavily in teams and technology dedicated to removing hateful comments/videos,” the Google-owned video service tweeted.

“Due to the presence of hateful comments, we disabled comments on the livestream of today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.”

Potts told the committee that it is not “simple” for the world’s largest social network, with over two billion users worldwide, to decide which posts it should keep and which it should pull down, because of the huge amount of information that flows through the site.

Echoing the remark, Google’s Walden said that removing hate speech can be complex because content may be offensive but not violate YouTube’s policies against hate speech or incite violence.

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Many of the comments on the livestream expressed anti-Semitic views or decried multicultural societies while others expressed white pride, the CNET reported on Tuesday.
Pixabay

It is also contentious because there are disagreements on where to draw the line between political speech and hate speech, the report noted.

Also Read: For Accuracy Facebook Will Use AI To Map World Population

“Overaggressive enforcement can also inadvertently silence voices that are using the platform to make themselves heard on these important issues,” Walden said.

When asked if their sites were neutral platforms or editorial publications, Potts said Facebook is a tech company, while Walden said Google’s YouTube is a “free and open platform” for users to upload their own content, the report noted. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Sri Lanka Does not Trust Social Media Platforms

Sri Lanka temporarily shut down Facebook earlier in 2018 after hate speech spread on the company’s apps resulted in mob violence

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Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019. VOA

Battling the spread of hate speech on social media platforms especially Facebook for long, the Sri Lanka government on Sunday once again “temporarily blocked” social media from spreading fake news in the wake of deadly suicide bombings in the island that killed 290 people.

In a brief statement, the Sri Lankan President’s Secretary Udaya Seneviratne said the government has “decided to temporarily block social media sites including Facebook and Instagram in an effort to curb false news reports”.

Several users in the country reported they could not access Facebook and its photo-sharing service Instagram, Google-owned YouTube and WhatsApp for most part of the day.

Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja told TechCrunch that “teams from across Facebook have been working to support first responders and law enforcement as well as to identify and remove content which violates its standards”.

Google did not immediately comment.

“It’s a rare but not unprecedented step for a government to block access to widely used sites and services,” said the report.

Sri Lanka has been criticizing Facebook and its platforms for long when it comes to the spread of hate speech.

The island country in March ordered Internet and mobile service providers to temporarily block Facebook and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram as part of a crackdown on online hate speeches.

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York. VOA

“These platforms are banned because they were spreading hate speeches and amplifying them,” government spokesperson Harindra B. Dassanayake was quoted as saying in The New York Times.

The claims are supported by non-profit Freedom House which found “hate speech against minorities continues to foment on various social media platforms, particularly Facebook”.

Last May, a coalition of activists from eight countries, including India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, called on Facebook to put in place a transparent and consistent approach to moderation.

Activists argued that the lack of local moderators a” specifically moderators fluent in the Sinhalese language spoken by the country’s Buddhist majority — had allowed hate speech run wild on the platform.

Also Read- Decide on TikTok by Wednesday, or Ban Ends: SC

The coalition demanded civil rights and political bias audits into Facebook’s role in abetting human rights abuses, spreading misinformation and manipulation of democratic processes in their respective countries.

Sri Lanka temporarily shut down Facebook earlier in 2018 after hate speech spread on the company’s apps resulted in mob violence. (IANS)