European Commission and IT Companies announce Code of Conduct on illegal online hate speech

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Jun 022016

The European Commission has joined up with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Microsoft to announce and introduce a code of conduct, which aims to deal with hate speech online. The IT companies agreed to several commitments in order to combat the problem. One of these commitments is:

“The IT Companies have to review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary.”

You can find the official EU-Commission press release and the other commitments here.

Since the announcement there have been varied reactions. The German media hasn’t taken too kindly to the reform. The general consensus seems to be that it is a good first step into the right direction but that it is not enough for the IT Companies to just be able to secure their good image. These reactions mainly stem from the very vague wording of the code of conduct.

For more information and further reading you can read a “ZEIT” article about the topic here or an interview by Deutsche Welle with German spokesman Hendrik Zörner of the DJV (German Journalism Union) here.

 Posted by at 12:42

Facebook Hate Speech: Counter Measures

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Feb 182016

During the refugee crisis Facebook has been very helpful, these past few weeks and months, in coordinating donations, finding helpers or reuniting people. At the same time, the platform has become a tool to spread hate, xenophobia and rage. Everything from insults to death threats was and can be found there and the term hate speech is known to practically everyone. The comment section is avoided by everyone who observes this development with caution and worry, or turned off by editorial staff entirely. Even German politicians have acknowledged the extent of the matter and the changes that are happening. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 13:42