Australia passes law to hold social media companies responsible for “abhorrent violent material”

“This law, which was conceived and passed in five days without any meaningful consultation, does nothing to address hate speech, which was the fundamental motivation for the tragic Christchurch terrorist attacks,” Sunita Bose, the managing director of the Digital Industry Group, which represents social media companies told The New York Times . Social media companies […]

Facebook’s AI couldn’t spot mass murder

Facebook has given another update on measures it took and what more it’s doing in the wake of the livestreamed video of a gun massacre by a far right terrorist who killed 50 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Earlier this week the company said the video of the slayings had been viewed […]

UK Far Right activist circumvents Facebook ban to livestream threats

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a Far Right UK activist who was permanently banned from Facebook last week for repeatedly breaching its community standards on hate speech, was nonetheless able to use its platform to livestream harassment of an anti-fascist blogger whom he doorstepped at home last night. UK-based blogger Mike Stuchbery detailed the intimidating incident in a […]

Facebook finally bans UK far right activist, ‘Tommy Robinson’

Facebook has taken the decision to remove the Facebook page and Instagram profile of far right activist, Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. Twitter permanently banned the founder of the far right English Defence League almost a year ago. In a blog post announcing the decision Facebook says Yaxley-Lennon repeatedly broke its community […]

Online platforms still not clear enough about hate speech takedowns: EC

In its latest monitoring report of a voluntary Code of Conduct on illegal hate speech, which platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube signed up to in Europe back in 2016, the European Commission has said progress is being made on speeding up takedowns but tech firms are still lagging when it comes to providing feedback […]

Facebook urged to give users greater control over what they see

Academics at the universities of Oxford and Stanford think Facebook should give users greater transparency and control over the content they see on its platform. They also believe the social networking giant should radically reform its governance structures and processes to throw more light on content decisions, including by looping in more external experts to […]

Facebook and PayPal pull pages of far-right British activist filmed intimidating public figures

Facebook has confirmed it has removed the pages and profiles of a far-right political activist in the U.K. after concerns were raised in parliament about aggressive intimidation of politicians and journalists trying to go about their business in and around Westminster. PayPal has also closed an account that was being used to solicit donations for […]

Study of political junk on Facebook raises fresh questions about its metrics

A midterms election study of political disinformation being fenced by Facebook’s platform supports the company’s assertion that a clutch of mostly right-leaning and politically fringe Pages it removed in October for sharing “inauthentic activity” were pulled for gaming its engagement metrics. Though it remains unclear why it took Facebook so long to act against such prolific […]

Hate speech, collusion, and the constitution

Half an hour into their two-hour testimony on Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were asked about collaboration between social media companies. “Our collaboration has greatly increased,” Sandberg stated before turning to Dorsey and adding that Facebook has “always shared information with other companies.” Dorsey nodded […]

It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a […]