Concerned about an increase in violence on television, the Federal Communications Commission is urging lawmakers to consider regulations that would restrict violent programs to late evening, when most children would not be watching.
The power of communication and the exchange of ideas were starkly brought home recently as news of bombs being delivered to Americans’ homes and businesses, and the murder of worshipers in Pittsburgh dominated headlines everywhere. President Donald Trump and some of his Republican allies appear to be actively engaged in a feedback loop with extremists who participate in the darkest online forums.
The Benton Foundation is joining 40 civil and human rights organizations that believe that online companies need to do more to combat hateful conduct on their platforms. We are asking that these companies adopt corporate policies to prohibit hateful activities on their platforms. They should make it clear what type of conduct is and is not permitted on their platform and remove any U.S. clients that violate those corporate policies. Although Benton has always championed free speech, today we draw a line.
Bill Russo, a Biden campaign spokesman, lashed out at Facebook, alleging that the social media giant is “shredding the fabric of our democracy” in the aftermath of the election. “In the days after Election Day, Facebook is flooded with thousands of calls for violence,” Russo said in a tweet. “Some of them are taken down, but many are left up for hours, if not days.” Russo also cited theories about a fraudulent U.S.
T-Mobile added 452,000 branded postpaid phone subscriptions in the first quarter of 2020. Total branded postpaid net additions were 777,000 in the first quarter. Prepaid net losses were 128,000, yielding 649,000 total branded net adds for the quarter. Adjusted EBITDA hit an all-time record high of $3.7 billion, up 12% year-over-year despite the environment created by COVID-19. Free cash flow, excluding payments for merger-related costs, was $893 million, up 37% year-over-year.
The alliance between Democrats and Silicon Valley has buckled and bent amid revelations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter allowed hateful speech, Russian propaganda and conservative-leaning “fake news” to flourish. But those tensions burst into open warfare after revelations that Facebook executives had withheld evidence of Russian activity on the platform for far longer than previously disclosed, while employing a Republican-linked opposition research firm to discredit critics and the billionaire George Soros, a major Democratic Party patron.
Facebook says it removed a flood of hate speech, terrorist propaganda and fake accounts from its site
Facebook said it had removed more than a billion fake accounts and taken action against millions of posts, photos and other forms of content that violated its prohibition against hate speech, terrorist propaganda and child exploitation, the latest sign that the social-networking giant faces an onslaught of online abuse as it builds tools to spot it.
Gab has become the most visible of a collection of services catering to people mainstream companies such as Twitter and Facebook have rejected as too hateful, extreme or threatening in their posts as part of a crackdown on extremism.
As mainstream social-media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit try to push racist commentary and hate speech off their platforms, those conversations are finding homes in other corners of the web. They are happening on Discord, a chat service for videogamers, and message boards such as 4chan. Gab was founded explicitly to be a haven for free commentary, no holds barred. Discord says its rules prohibit harassment, threatening messages and calls to violence, and it has shut down accounts over those issues. Grappling with such web speech is proving challenging.
In some corners of the internet, the tired hypothetical of free speech has been turned on its head: There isn’t one person yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, but a theater full of people yelling “Burn it down.” All of which complicates the situation for the big internet companies. Over the past 10 years, free speech has undergone a radical change in practice. Now nearly all significant speech runs through a corporate platform, be it a large hosting provider, WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter. Speech may be free by law, but attention is part of an economy.
Internet platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter use core algorithms to intentionally gather likeminded people and feed them self-validating content that elicits powerful reactions. Combine this with the platforms’ ability to finely target messaging and ads and you’ve created a potent formula for the virulent spread of disinformation, propaganda and hate. In response, more than three-dozen racial justice and civil rights organizations—including our group, Free Press—have spent more than a year evaluating the role of technology in fomenting hate.