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Twitters Says It Will Ban Trump If He Breaks Hate-Speech Rules (qz.com) 1058

Twitter has made a serious effort as of late to limit hate speech on its social media site, especially after Election Day where "biased graffiti, assaults and other incidents have been reported in the news." The company now faces President-elect Donald Trump, who has used Twitter for the past 18 months as a megaphone for his views and rants, which many would consider as "hate speech." According to the American Bar Association, hate speech is "speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other traits." Quartz reports: While Trump's deceptive tweets may not violate Twitter's rules against harassment, threats and "hateful conduct," Twitter is still keeping an eye on his account for more egregious offenses. This week, the company told Slate it would consider banning key government officials, even the president, if its rules against hate speech or other language were violated. "The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies," a spokesperson wrote. Twitter confirmed with Quartz that everyone, including government officials, were subject to the policy: "The Twitter Rules apply to all accounts," a spokesman wrote. Trump may not have crossed that line yet, but he hasn't exactly refrained from making incendiary claims. Most recently, he claimed that Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who allegedly carried out an attack injuring 11 students at Ohio State University, "should not have been in our country." Artan was a legal permanent U.S. resident, whose family had fled Somalia for Pakistan in 2007. He arrived in the States in 2014.
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Twitters Says It Will Ban Trump If He Breaks Hate-Speech Rules

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:06PM (#53398087)
    Actually I agree with Trump with this one. This guy should not be in our country. He obviously hated it. So he should go live in a Muslim country, like Somalia or Pakistan. Love it or leave it. And stand the fuck up for the anthem too, you aren't being oppressed.
    • by vel-ex-tech ( 4337079 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:17PM (#53398951)

      You see, stuff like this is what I've been worried about. It doesn't matter whether Trump is literal Hitler, figurative Hitler, metaphorical Hitler, or fucking Mecha-Hitler [wikia.com]. Yeah, we've seen presidents like Lincoln being the go-to example that have done things that aren't too constitutional. And that business about the Japanese internment. And no, it wasn't right. But America is great enough that it made it through. And while I'm starting sentence with conjunctions, I should point out that those two examples were actual fucking wars not a bunch of hysterical snowflakes freaking out about the (gay and vegan) Moooooooooooooslims. We've got so many snowflakes doing that it's turning into a fucking blizzard.

      I want to live in a country great enough to treat criminals with justice, yes to treat them better than they deserve in shithole countries like, oh I don't know, what Daesh wants to build! 'Course, that guy's not a citizen unlike the flag burners Trump wants to strip of citizenship, just a legal resident. Deportation would be one appropriate response in this case, and I'm too lazy to research precedent or see what the moon matrix media has to say about this one. If the snowflakes demand that he be deported and set free without answering to us for his crimes, so be it. Why not? That's a great precedent there. Want to kill a bunch of Americans? Why, all you have to do is head on over, cause death and destruction, and all they'll do is send you back!

      I want to live in a country great enough that its citizens can freely show disrespect to national symbols and traditions. I want to live in a country great enough that its citizens can freely show disdain for that country's religion. I want to live in a country great enough that its citizens can freely block the president on social media.

      So are Trumpers going to finally bring an end to America's greatness?
      .
      .
      .
      I suppose eventually, Germany did become great again. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, given enough time, everything changes.

      Oh and, my sig! Merry fucking Christmas!

      • I want to live in a country great enough that its citizens can freely show disrespect [...]

        Ok...

        So are Trumpers going to finally bring an end to America's greatness?

        Dude, you are confused. It is neither Trump nor "trumpers", who threaten your right to freely show disrespect. It is Twitter!

        It is Twitter, who'll shut you up, should you, in their opinion, engage in "speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other traits."

        Unless,

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bfpierce ( 4312717 )

          Wait, twitter can control my citizenship status now and right to free speech?

          Where the fuck have I been?

          Oh wait no I'm fine, you're a god damn lunatic. Pretty sure I can just go to reddit, facebook, or fuck, here, if I want to exercise my right to call you batshit crazy.

          • Wait, twitter can control my citizenship status now and right to free speech?

            This is not about citizenship. Yes, Twitter can take away your speech on Twitter. Maybe, it is not a big deal — if Twitter bans you, but Reddit still remains a free speech zone [wikipedia.org].

            But people tend to dislike being told, where they can not protest, so I pointed it out to the OP, that he is barking up the wrong tree, as it were. However offensive he is, Trump is not going to come after him — not until he knives a bunch of people or some such.

            On contrast, Twitter will shut him up — if he offends a religion more equal than other religions, or an ethnic group more equal than other ethnic groups, and so on — and will not even explain, why exactly.

            • To be honest, its more and more of an issue in today's world.
              Your ISP can cut your internet to stop your from exercising free speech.
              Your host can cut your web server.
              Your twitter can be banned
              Your facebook can be banned
              Your google searches can be empty (as in, it never returns results for you/your site/etc)
              Major media outlets are commonly owned and can decide to not publish your story

              For all practical purposes, your free speech can be suppressed today - it was much more difficult 30 years ago, some due to

            • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday December 01, 2016 @11:15AM (#53401435) Homepage Journal

              This is tricky bit when you stop using "freedom" as a glittering generality and start tying to live it as a practicality: freedoms impinge on each other. Your freedom to say whatever the hell you want impinges on Twitter's freedom to set whatever ground rules it wants for its privately funded and hosted service. And vice versa.

              Which means nobody gets unlimited freedom; or at least most people can't have it; if one person has unlimited freedom than everyone else has no actual rights -- we call that a dictatorship. Or a small group can have almost unlimited freedom, but everyone else has limited rights -- an oligarchy.

              To maximize freedom for most people you need rules which adjudicate conflicting freedoms. One such principle is that we can't, as a society, punish things which we are allowed as individuals to punish. The KKK is perfectly legal, but you don't have to let them use your premises or services as a platform.

              And it means drawing lines, and whenever you do that you end up with similar looking cases on either side of the line. You can't (in most states) deny gays or blacks housing or other essential services. But you can deny Klansmen housing, if you have the courage to do so. You can redraw the lines elsewhere, but no matter where you choose to draw the line there'll be similar looking cases on either side.

    • Oppression (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday December 01, 2016 @07:21AM (#53400397)

      Love it or leave it. And stand the fuck up for the anthem too, you aren't being oppressed.

      "Love it or leave it" is what privileged fools say when they are actively sticking their fingers in their ears so they don't have to hear the truth from people who are being abused by our government. There are plenty of people who genuinely ARE being oppressed in this country. Sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in very blatant ones. Ask any black person if they feel oppressed by the police. Ask a person with brown skin how easy it is to get a bank loan. Compare the number of unarmed minorities who get shot by police to the number of white people. Ask women how things are going with that equal pay for equal work.

      I am a US Citizen because I was born here. I didn't ask to be born nor did I ask to be a citizen. Love isn't unconditional. The notion that I should automatically love the country if it is doing things to actively harm me or things I care about is just nonsense. There are lots of people who are oppressed. Just because YOU aren't being oppressed doesn't mean shit to someone who is. If they want to sit down to make a statement during the playing of the national anthem then they are doing EXACTLY what the first amendment is for. So is burning a flag. Free speech isn't about what is comfortable for you to hear. It is making a statement that tells what they think without harming anyone.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday December 01, 2016 @09:39AM (#53400897)

      And stand the fuck up for the anthem too, you aren't being oppressed.

      There's a reason the very first Amendment in the Constitution is freedom of speech. Even the Second Amendment, which deals with the defense of the nation, comes second to it. You have every right to sit down or kneel for the Anthem, or burn a flag, whether you are trying to make a statement or just being a dick. It's hard to "Make America Great Again" when you want to remove some of the basic freedoms that make America great in the first place.

  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:08PM (#53398101)

    if it's hate speech that @jack agrees with. @jack is a hypocritical asshole and everyone knows it.

  • Go ahead. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z80a ( 971949 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:09PM (#53398109)

    Bans solves everything!

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:12PM (#53398141)

    Being welcomed to a country you are not citizen of is not a human right. We can consider pros and cons to ourselves vs humanitarian benefits of admitting a particular immigrant of from a particular country where terrorism and other crime is more common than in US.

    Refusing to have a rational discussion on this subject without accusations of hate and racism is how we got Trump.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:21PM (#53398209)
      Of course, It is perfectly possible to have a restrictive immigration policy without shittalking about foreigners.
      • by sabbede ( 2678435 ) on Thursday December 01, 2016 @09:12AM (#53400743)
        Yes, but it becomes difficult when facing rhetoric that falsely generalizes your specific statements to entire groups, labels you as racist for any disagreement, or invents new contexts to justify calling you racist.

        For example, any Republican that comes out and says, "Illegal immigration is bad, it hurts Americans and we need to do something about it", will be lambasted as anti-immigrant, with Democrats all over the news talking about how we're a nation of immigrants and that this is just another example of the GOP being racist and hating American values. As if the "illegal" was never specified. An apalling affront to reason and public discourse.

        Or like when Trump said that inner cities were a disaster because Democrats had failed the black community, and the response was, "look, he's saying racist things about black people!" The statement was a direct criticism of elected Democrats and their policies, and how they failed to help inner cities if not actually harming them. Could not have been less racist.

    • by Drakonblayde ( 871676 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:37PM (#53398327)

      I wish I had mod points to push this up to +5.

      Alot of folks just don't understand the frustration that the liberalists create by basically saying we can't say anything bad about anything. We don't live in a happy utopia where everything is perfect.

      The United States is a melting pot of cultures and religions. Some of those cultures and religions don't mix very well, so there's going to be friction.

      By trying to pretend there isn't and trying to put a lid on it, is just going to cause it to boil over. If you can't talk about it, then there's never going to be resolution, just conflict and friction in perpetuity

      • by shilly ( 142940 )

        Liberalists (great neologism, there) basically don't say anything of the sort. Rightists say that liberalists say this shit to get themselves all steamed up and cross about liberalists, but like very large amounts of other things that rightists believe, there's no materially significant factual basis to it. For example, Twitter is, you may be astounded to find out, not in fact a font of liberalism but a commercial company whose services are used by large numbers of people of all political persuasions.

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:06PM (#53398535)
      by encouraging them to patrol their neighborhoods looking for Muslims _is_. Trump did that, among other things, during the campaign.

      And there was a rational discussion. Several folks (notably Jon Oliver) pointed out very rationally that immigrants from terrorists nations are incredibly well vetted. You'd be more likely to see Dutch terrorists sneaking in with wooden shoe bombs than an actual terrorists sneaking through. But all that was lost on the Fox news crowd.

      And we got Trump because the Blacks and Latinos couldn't be assed to come out and vote for Hilary. Trump got the 60 million Romney voters from 2012. 5 million of the 65 that showed up for Obama stayed home. For fucks sake people, you don't have to like it but when the consequences are that obvious get the hell out and _vote_. You've got 2 years. Assuming Trump's justice department hasn't locked you all up to fill their private prisons then don't screw it up again.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:16PM (#53398163)

    There's no such thing as hate speech if you have free speech. STFU and do something useful.

  • Oh look... (Score:5, Funny)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:17PM (#53398173) Journal
    A Trump article.

    How refreshing!

  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:17PM (#53398175)
    Time to short the stock, picking up a political fight with POTUS is extremely unwise.
  • Ah, yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bbhack ( 98541 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:18PM (#53398191)

    Ah, yes. Let's ban, ban, ban on our way to obscurity.

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:20PM (#53398205)

    On the one hand, hate speech, censorship, and the limits of Presidential power are all very serious topics.

    On the other hand, President Trump getting banned from Twitter and watching the resulting tantrum would be beyond hilarious.

  • So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alzoron ( 210577 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:23PM (#53398227) Journal

    hate speech is "speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other traits.

    Everything is hate speech? Awesome.

    • hate speech is "speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other traits.

      Everything is hate speech? Awesome.

      You need to leave some wiggle room since defining hate speech is similar to defining obscenity, you'll know it when you see it [wikipedia.org].


    • Here's another little hurdle. If you have nothing but respecting for me as a human but have criticised my way of life and I find it offensive, you're in the wrong even if you did not mean to cause offence and you opinion is neutrally worded and entirely based in fact.

      Of course add personal bias and we find that it's OK to criticise or speak in a certain way about an unpopular religion or a disliked ethnic minority...but generally it seems that no one genuinely likes free speech when it's negative and abou
  • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:24PM (#53398235)
    It occurs to me that, while a company shouldn't necessarily advocate for open harassment of its users, it needs to apply the policy equally if it is to be taken seriously.

    Take, for example, the radical feminist Clementine Ford. She has repeatedly engaged in blatant anti-male harassment [twimg.com] and is known to then cry wolf when a man responds with anti-female harassment and had a man fired from his job for his comment. Yet, for some reason, Clementine Ford's account is still miraculously active [twitter.com]. No matter what Trump said he did or didn't grab, this woman should be off Twitter permanently by that same policy.

    This is a pattern that repeats over and over. As it is obvious that Twitter is engaging in selective enforcement, they are not only slowly alienating a substantial portion of their user base for the minority of vocal SJWs, they are threatening their own safe harbor provisions for anything else that goes on Twitter such as terrorist communication or other criminal activity. That translates to fewer users and significant financial risk for operating as they currently do.

    The real question is: why are the shareholders not demanding Dorsey's resignation for these policies? Mentioning Trump is a complete non-sequitur and clickbait for Salon's liberal slant. More importantly, it indicates that they are defocused from the real goal of shareholder returns and preserving shareholder value. The tail can't wag the dog any more, and it has to belong to the same animal in any case. Either Twitter curates content consistently or they get out of that business and respond only to complaints of criminal and terrorist activity; otherwise, this half-way house will fall on itself.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 )

      Take, for example, the radical feminist Clementine Ford. She has repeatedly engaged in blatant anti-male harassment [twimg.com] and is known to then cry wolf when a man responds with anti-female harassment and had a man fired from his job for his comment. Yet, for some reason, Clementine Ford's account is still miraculously active [twitter.com]. No matter what Trump said he did or didn't grab, this woman should be off Twitter permanently by that same policy.

      That's seriously the best you could come up with? Some woman making a few dick-themed insults in what looks like larger back-and-forth conversations?

      This is what actual harassment looks like [vox.com].

      For one he's targeting visible characteristics (weight, attractiveness, and skin colour) of his targets. Clementine Ford's dick jokes are just non-specific insults since no-one can actually see the target's dick.

      Second Milo was the instigator going after people who did nothing to deserve it. There's no context for your

    • Well for good or ill, they are a company, and can do anything that does not violate the law as long as their shareholders do not make a fuss.
      And Twitter was always going to be a flash in the pan, I think they are just trying anything and everything to not fade into obscurity. I think tumbler has shown that their is demand for safe places on the internet that protect sjws and allow them to say anything they want and harass whoever they want.

  • by myid ( 3783581 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:48PM (#53398407)

    Twitter says it doesn't tolerate "hateful conduct". That's pretty vague.

    I think US borders should be guarded so that people can only come here legally. Does Twitter consider that statement hateful?

    Does Twitter consider showing pictures of the US flag on Cinco de Mayo hateful? These Americans [wnd.com] were called "Racist a–holes” for flying the American flag in the US on Cinco de Mayo at a school. At the school,

    officials had banned the practice to avoid violence threatened by Hispanic students celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The controversy developed in 2010, when school officials ordered students not to wear U.S. flag-themed shirts on the Mexican holiday. The ban has been upheld by a federal appeals court.

    Does a picture of someone wearing a Trump hat [nbcnews.com] "interrupt ... operations"?

    If you say the words "he", "she", "him" and "her", are you being hateful because those words make gay people feel "marginalized" [dailymail.co.uk]?

    The last three examples are extreme, but they illustrate my point. Twitter has to be careful not to ban political statements because they don't agree with the statements. They should ban statements only if the author is trying to incite violence.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:10PM (#53398913)

      Twitter says it doesn't tolerate "hateful conduct". That's pretty vague.

      That is vague by design. More accurately they do not tolerate anything that risks advertising revenue.

      Does Twitter consider that statement hateful?

      If you were a famous person tweeting it and that annoyed enough people and they did not feel so good about using Twitter, then yes Twitter would consider that statement hateful. Twitter want their users to "enjoy the experience" so something that bursts a comfortable bubble could make the users spend less time with Twitter's application looking at their advertisements.

      Framing it as a free speech issue as the summary suggests is more than just a little naive, so while your examples are very good in another context they are just not relevant. You are free to say things without getting locked up but Twitter will pick and choose what they block.

  • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:48PM (#53398409) Homepage

    According to the American Bar Association, hate speech is "speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other traits." Quartz reports:

    Please be aware the following groups are exempt from this:

    * Men
    * Straight People
    * White people
    * Conservatives

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:51PM (#53398815) Journal
    Trump did say he wanted to open libel laws for a reconsideration. If they call his speech bigoted, he might have a test libel case. Oh, and he is the one who gets to nominate the next justice of SCOTUS.
  • by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:16PM (#53398945)

    A clean home invites immunodeficiency.

    Perhaps we should focus on thickening our collective skins, rather than muting a few folks who make us momentarily uncomfortable?

  • The GOP wants bakeries to be able to reject potential customers based on their religious beliefs, yet they want twitter to be forced to broadcast the angry ramblings of Trump just because he's Trump? The double standard is staggering. I haven't seen anyone preventing Trump from hiring someone two come up with their own site similar to Twitter; if he's as wealthy as he wants everyone to believe he should have no difficulty hiring brilliant programmers to write something that people would want to use even more than Twitter.
  • by linuxrocks123 ( 905424 ) on Thursday December 01, 2016 @12:09AM (#53399187) Homepage Journal

    You might as well say "according to the Powerpuff Girls, donuts are...".

    "Hate speech" is not an actual legal concept, and the ABA is not an actual bar association.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante

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