European attempt to stem hate speech not an easy task

European countries are pressuring social network companies to shut down hate speech, harassment and phony news placing responsibility on actors that are free of accountability and often prone to error in failing to protect important speech. (Columbia Journalism Review, January 17, 2018, by Mathew Ingram)

The problem surfaced on New Year’s Day when a German comedian posted on Twitter a satirical message critical of the right wing’s fears of damage immigrants were doing to German culture. Twitter blocked the tweet citing violations of local laws. (Politico, January 6, 2018, by Mark Scott and Janosch Delcker)

Tom Foremski, ZDNet, January 18, 2018, writes that with the European pressure, Facebook is dropping news content with unfortunate consequences. Algorithms are proving to be flawed in filtering out hate speech. Foremski advises the social media to adopt the methods of traditional media industry, hiring editors and journalists to keep hate speech purveyors from exploiting their platforms.

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