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Twitter Isn't Removing Enough Hate Speech, Complains The EU (cnn.com) 201

An anonymous reader quotes CNN: Twitter is not good enough at removing hate speech from its platform. That's the judgment of Europe's top regulator, which released data on Thursday showing that Twitter has failed to meet its standard of taking down 50% of hate speech posts after being warned that they include objectionable content. Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Google have all agreed to do more, promising last May to review a majority of hate speech flagged by users within 24 hours and to remove any illegal content.

A year into the agreement, the European Commission said that Facebook and YouTube, which is owned by Google, have both managed to remove 66% of reported hate speech. Twitter's rate, meanwhile, was 38%. That's below the commission's standard but a major improvement from December, when the service was removing only 19% of hate speech... Twitter was also slightly slower than rivals Facebook and YouTube when it came to reviewing content. The regulator said that Facebook reviewed flagged content within 24 hours in 58% of cases. YouTube did the same 43% of the time, while Twitter met the 24-hour benchmark in 39% of cases.

European lawmakers are considering laws mandating the blocking of online hate speech, so they're carefully watching what happens when social media companies self-regulate.

"Tackling illegal hate speech online is a contribution to the fight against terrorism," argued the EU Commission's top justice official.
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Twitter Isn't Removing Enough Hate Speech, Complains The EU

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:40PM (#54543057)

    Anything the person in charge doesn't want to hear.

    • I hate those people at twitter that won't remove hate speech fast enough.
      • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:44PM (#54543069)

        I hate twitter.

        • At least one moderator really understood my simple joke.

        • by sound+vision ( 884283 ) on Sunday June 04, 2017 @12:55AM (#54544647) Journal
          I hate Twitter as well. I hate it so much that I don't even use it. Actually, "hate" is too strong a word. Is it that I pity the users? No that's not quite it either...

          I do feel comfortable saying this: it is a terrible method of communication. By design, it promotes banal soundbites and sloganeering. The most depth you will ever get in a Twitter post is what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast, or what Donald Trump accidentally mashed on his keyboard when he fell asleep watching Fox News, or what new fetish some popufur has discovered. Even if there is some profound, free thinker who has a Twitter account, you won't find any profundity there. At best you'll get a link to somewhere else that actually has something worth reading. That is on top of all the negatives that the other social media have, like the strengthening of filter bubble.

          I would tell everyone complaining about Twitter to "put their money where their mouth is", but it doesn't even require any money, it just requires you to stop being a sheep. Don't use it. Not only will you help yourself, you will work to bring down the beast. No users, no money, no Twitter.
          • Twitter is a diversion, much like reading the comments on /.

            I mostly lurk on there, but I have gotten a bit bored with it and don't even usually log in.

            I read it for tweets like:

            Jeremy ClarksonVerified account @JeremyClarkson May 21

            Something rude about Donald Trump. A pithy ending. And a hashtag #anotherperfecttweet

            and

            Jeremy ClarksonVerified account @JeremyClarkson May 21

            Something right on and apparently caring. Swear word. Perfect tweet.

            and

            Jeremy ClarksonVerified account @JeremyClarkson Apr 13

            I'M NOT ON FUCKING LINKEDIN

            For some reason that made me chuckle.

            And I'd probably forget to look at xkcd if I didn't follow it on twitter.

            And then there's the Haiku from James May:

            James MayVerified account @MrJamesMay Mar 29

            Foggy reasoning
            In parliament, and now the
            Continent's cut off.

            #Haikeu
            #Rubbish/Merde/Scheiße

    • Re:Spot on. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @04:27PM (#54543207)

      Exactly this. Twitter is now blocking elected politicians in some countries because they call out EU on their migration policies. Who the f*ck are they to decide what is hateful, and to whom??

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Twitter in particular is fairly open about their political bias in censorship. I think that's perfectly OK for a business - there are all kinds of walled gardens, after all, and some people seem to enjoy them. I just wish these social media companies were more open and honest about it all, but I guess it really is hard to see one's own biases.

        • by scsirob ( 246572 )

          Check the article please. It isn't Twitter who sets these rules (which would be OK, as it's their company). It is political bodies like EU who abuse their power to make companies like Twitter push their agenda. EU gets to decide what is hate speech. And that could be anything that goes against the interest of EU (the organisation, not the people..)

    • Feeling baffled by BS? Trump thinks you're merely DAZZLED!

      Twitter is great for spreading BS. The complications of reality just don't fit into little tweets, but what's that got to do with the price of tea in China?

      No brilliance in #PresidentTweety, just bankruptcy.. Let's shave Trump's tax returns with Occam's Razor, shall we?

      If you can borrow money, you are NOT really bankrupt. There are times when an actually sharp businessman can play bankruptcy games and borrow more money and come out ahead. That is NOT

    • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @05:44PM (#54543467) Homepage Journal

      A quick question for everyone.

      Kathy Griffin holding the bloody, severed head of the US president was all over twitter [twitter.com] the other day.

      Does this image count as hate speech? Will Kathy lose her twitter account, or will reposters of the image be banned or penalized in any way?

      I'm just wondering if the content is important, as opposed to the political bias.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Did it count as hate speech when Ted Nugent said that Obama could suck on his gun? How about the YT vids and pics showing an effigy of Barak Obama being hung and burned? Because all you snowflake righties were totally against that being hate speech and insisting that this SHOULD NOT be prosecuted.

        Yet when Kathy Griffin does it, you all faint like you've just seen Old Yeller being boiled alive piecemeal and fed to The Milky Bar Kid on breakfast TV.

        • by StillAnonymous ( 595680 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @11:55PM (#54544549)

          The "right" doesn't care, for the most part. By and large, they really are about free speech.

          They just don't like the hypocrisy that the "left" espouses. If the left is going to say that hate speech should be regulated, then the left has to be held to their own standard. That they aren't is the problem the right sees and exposes.

          "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." Wasn't that an Alinsky directive? Ironic that it can be used against his disciples, isn't it?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Right now, the left is in the process of rejecting freedom of speech as a reactionary concept. Freedom of speech has been a cherished left-wing virtue for decades, advanced by people like Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, and many other radical luminaries. But lately the concept has come to be associated with the right, thanks to the vagaries of our political culture. If we were a smart, we would recognize not only that freedom of speech is consistent with left-wing principles, but also that app
        • Dude, great post!

          Insightful, with a clear point and historical context. Whether anyone agrees with the position is immaterial - it in NO WAY should have been modded down.

          You are a victim of the forces you are commenting upon, and I'm sorry for that.

      • a quick answer (Score:4, Informative)

        by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Sunday June 04, 2017 @03:06AM (#54544953)
        No it does not, it counts as a bloody stupid joke. Contrary to what people (probably anerican) seem to think hate speech is not defined as "what politician do not like" , in fact there are quite a few protection to ensure this is not used to squash normal non hate speech. Secondely the EU cj does not define hate speech, individual countries do, this may be difficult to understand to american but this is not like your federal system. The eu only define the action that may taken and how to ensure speech protection but does not define hate speech, this is up to each individual state, but if they did include "not liking your president" they would be squashed by the eu court on ground of human right - fredom of expression. No 2 state has then same hate speech definition, but most can be summarized as "call to violence , murder, or genocide against an ethnnic group, nationality or sub group if people" e.g. "kill all turban head" is hate speech, "decapitate trump" is not, it is just blody stupid.
        • by elgaard ( 81259 )

          "Secondely the EU cj does not define hate speech, individual countries do"

          But does that mean that EU is now demanding that Twitter censors speech that is forbidden in just one EU member state even if it is legal in the other 28 EU states?

          So EU are unhappy with Twitter only blocking 38 percent of flagged content.
          They acknowledge that not all content flagged by users isn't prohibited by law.
          But how much is that really? Maybe it is 70 percent and then Twitter is blocking "to much".

          Who actually decides what sho

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is a definition, but you neither know nor care.

      PS "child pornography" is defined as "whatever I thnk too young is"? Because in Japan, the legal age is way lower. And in some states and arab nations, it's higher than 18. And some places it's KP even if it's merely middle aged women dressing up as schoolgirls.

      Also "Free speech restrictions are whatever I decide is impeding what I want to hear", right?

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      It's things you'd get kicked out of the bar for in most places.

  • Censorship (Score:4, Interesting)

    by augus1990 ( 2865269 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:45PM (#54543073)
    Censorchip... that's whats the UE want.
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:50PM (#54543099)

    "Tackling illegal hate speech online is a contribution to the fight against terrorism," argued the EU Commission's top justice official.

    So... what this guy is saying is that he hates terrorism? Shouldn't we block him too?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      To be fair, he's taking about blocking ISIS propaganda. Images of innocent people being beheaded, for example, violate that person's right to privacy in the EU.

      I agree that it's worrying and needs clarification, but even in the US some material is censored, e.g. involuntary pornography.

  • Illegal where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @03:55PM (#54543121)

    What Learless Feeders like the EU totally fail to comprehend is that we don't all agree with them. On person's hate speech is another person's free speech. Just because they don't like something on the internet doesn't mean they need to, or can, ban it. One would think the EU would know history better.

    • by radja ( 58949 )

      1 person's murder is another person's self-defence. We have laws that differentiate between the two. The same goes for speech.

  • of intolerance. That is something the Democrats get that the Republicans never will because the Republicans oppress freedom of speech by allowing speech they shouldn't allow.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      > of intolerance. That is something the Democrats get that the Republicans never will because the Republicans oppress freedom of speech by allowing speech they shouldn't allow.

      You have that exactly backwards.

      It's liberals that throw hissy fits, riot, and claim it's fine to punch anyone they don't approve of. Your notion of liberalism and Democrats is at least 20 years out of date if not more.

    • Liberals, Democrats, Republicans... blah blah blah.... Sounds like the brainwashing sideshow really has you fucked up. Censorship aint a partisan issue, and no amount of finger-pointing will make it so. It's not them, and it's not you, and it's not me, it's us.

    • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

      Go back to your safe space, wounded snowflake.

      There is no "speech they shouldn't allow" if we're adhering to the principles of free speech. It's a pretty simple concept.

  • ...of equal importance to Freedom of Speech?

    And what about the ears of the poor censors deciding what's good or bad to be heard?

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @04:58PM (#54543319)

      Remember that Twitter is a company and owns the platform. They should be able to control what is posted on their app/service as the owner. To suggest a "Freedom to Hear" is that you are suggesting laws that prevent Twitter from deciding who can or cannot post on their platform.

      You clearly have not thought this through. To legally guarantee a venue for Free Speech, you now also make all groups equal. You can no longer block/shut down ISIS accounts because they too deserve their own place to disseminate their ideological views, Berkeley must allow conservative ass-wipes to give speeches, and the KKK can harass minority people by handing out fliers to them.

      Maybe what's more troubling is how we have allowed so much of our communication and public spaces to be commandeered by private companies. People having to depend on closed platforms, servers, and for-profit business plans for everyday life too much, where distributed, independent methods like email and RSS could be used in the past.

      • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )

        Maybe what's more troubling is how we have allowed so much of our communication and public spaces to be commandeered by private companies. People having to depend on closed platforms, servers, and for-profit business plans for everyday life too much

        This is exactly what the problem is, but it's not so easy to get people off of the private platforms which have turned into the modern equivalent of public squares.

        Practically speaking, the only way to solve the problem is by regulating these platforms and enforce the freedom of speech. That means telling Twitter they can't decide who can post on their platform; ISIS needs to be allowed to disseminate their shitty ideology; and KKK needs to be allowed to hand out fliers.

        You can no longer block/shut down ISIS accounts because they too deserve their own place to disseminate their ideological views, Berkeley must allow conservative ass-wipes to give speeches, and the KKK can harass minority people by handing out fliers to them.

        Trying to silence them is not how

  • OK got it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @04:46PM (#54543269)
    One man's hate speech is another man's religious doctrine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2017 @05:58PM (#54543511)

    There's a video below of a gentleman at what appears to be an anti-fascist demonstration holding a sign saying, "The right to openly discuses ideas must be defended". According to the so called anti-fascists he's a Nazi and a fascist for having these opinions:

    https://twitter.com/BasedMonitored/status/862025400951742464

    Leftists of Slashdot, at what point do you start condemning the action of your fellow leftists? Most leftists are remaining very quiet as about this new form of fascism, that is coming in the guise of anti-fascism. Are you just going to stay quiet as Europe becomes a fascist state where only some opinions are permitted?

    This is a very dangerous situation, and action must be taken by all sides to protect free speech. I feel strongly that free speech should be enshrined in law, just as it is in the US. Sadly, I see very little chance of that happening. We're on a slippery slope and we're already at least half way down it.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Nice straw man. You need to show us a specific person who you think is a "leftist" calling that person a Nazi, rather than just imagining they must exist.

  • Seriously. If you don't have physical operations in the EU, you will not have to worry about the continent's rulers' permanent inability to respect the concept of free speech.

  • Freedom of speech (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Saturday June 03, 2017 @09:04PM (#54544079) Journal
    The USA offers freedom of speech and freedom after speech.
    In the USA a person can comment on the politics and policy of illegal immigration.
    People in the USA can link to news about the results of illegal immigration in their local communities.
    About the costs, funding and political groups supporting illegal immigration.
    People in the USA can also draw cartoons about religion and faith. They even have the freedom to create animations with music about religions, religions leaders and what people do in the name of their faith.
    In the USA people can comment on Communist party policy, its leaders and history.
    Thats why different people all over the world like, support and enjoy the freedoms the USA offers and protects.
    In the USA people are creative, smart, productive, they have the imagination and the freedom to talk, to read books, to review books, create, study and publish.
    In other parts of the world SJW and police watch accounts and report people for their comments.
    Nations are free to police and enforce blasphemy laws and protect the Communist leadership in their own nations but trying to project that onto the rest of the world? Or trying to alter network use outside their own nation?
    If nations in Europe have an issue with a site or online product then ban it for all people in that nation.
    Watch over every user trying to connect to that banned site and log their ip. If they try to connect too often after an official online warning, send some official to their home to conduct a formal interview.
    No problems, no questions, instant results and no more news about conditions in that EU nation been talked about online.
    No news, no links to the media out side that EU nation. No comments about local conditions, about local politics.
    The rest of the world can get on with been free and enjoying freedom.
    The EU can revert back to questions of faith and interviewing people who say bad things about Communist party policy.
    US products and services that support freedom of speech will grow, other nations government approved sites will be used by government workers.
  • Good job Britian getting out of this mess.

  • yay!

    I'm what you'd call left-wing, from Europe - but what I see is that anything anyone merely disagrees with is hate speech. This is madness. It has to stop.

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Sunday June 04, 2017 @01:07AM (#54544673) Homepage Journal

    Because "hate speech" clearly is the worst problem the world is facing right now.

    How about we focus on the truth value of information instead of the subjective, emotional aspects? Now that would be something new. Who knows, we might end up with something worth the name "journalism" again.

    • How about we focus on the truth value of information instead of the subjective, emotional aspects?

      If I would tweet “There are refugees living in the Arden st. 79-2, let's go beat them up!”, should we focus on the facts of the tweet? If I tweet “Jews are thieves and murderers, and some, I presume, are good people”, would you say that this is a perfectly true statement?

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        Yes, let's focus on the facts of the tweets.

        In your first tweet, you incite violence. In your second tweet you make a false statement about a large group of people and no, the "and some" does not change that, because grammatically, the first statement still applies to the majority.

        So yes, even trollish tweets can be countered with a rational look at whether or not they are true.

  • I, for one, live in mortal fear of unpopular opinions. Moar censorship now!!!1!

  • ...then it's *your* speech.

  • by molecular ( 311632 ) on Sunday June 04, 2017 @05:25AM (#54545151)

    There's clearly a need to decentralize these kind of services (social platforms in this case) to make them censorship resistant and privacy-preserving.

    What are the efforts being worked on?

  • The EU hates freedom of speech. Got it.

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