During a visit to Austin, Texas for the annual SXSW Conference & Festival, London Mayor Sadiq Khan pleaded for stricter rules regarding what is allowed on social media, and called for tech companies to censor and remove “hate speech.”
According to Business Insider, the German government has introduced a new rule that gives social-media platforms 24 hours to decide whether something is hate speech.
Sadiq would like to see similar rule in his own city if tech companies don’t self-censor content.
“We simply must do more to protect people online,” Khan told the crowd.
Using his own experience as an example, Khan read tweets that attacked him and his Islamic faith. “I want to share with you today just half a dozen of the types of tweets that I receive,” he said.
“I say kill the mayor of London and you’ll be rid of one Muslim terrorist,” Khan read aloud. “I’d pay for someone to execute Sadiq Khan.”
“Muslims have no dignity. I wish Sadiq Khan would just blow himself up like they all do. He might get his 12 virgins,” he continued.
Khan specifically called for tech companies like Facebook and Twitter to show “a stronger duty of care” so that “social-media platforms can live up to their promises to connect, unify, and democratize the sharing of information and be places where everyone feels welcomed and valued,” Business Insider reported.
London Mayor @SadiqKhan reads out the hateful, threatening and some Islamophobic tweets he receives as he calls on social media companies to “do more to protect people online” pic.twitter.com/3ts2kAvAHf
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) March 13, 2018
Do you think this is an attempt to suppress free speech?
He even suggested that the companies face fines if they don’t remove “offensive content” or misinformation quickly enough.
“No business or industry should ever consider itself above the local rules or laws set by democratic processes,” he said.
Many on Twitter criticized Khan’s suggestions and pointed out where this type of thinking may lead.
Great to see so many people against Khan’s views here. Khan can block and censor these people himself, they gave us the ability to do that. What he wants is to take one more step along the road to authoritarianism and he’s doing it under the guise of compassion.
— BuzzB (@BuzzsawBandit) March 13, 2018
And what about everyone else? Why don’t you stop using hate speech to silence everyone that criticises Islam? Criticism isn’t hate speech. #Londonistan ? #nothanks
— Jodie Addison (@Fredzi1225) March 13, 2018
If you are unhappy about freedom of speech then Move back to 🇵🇰 or to 🇸🇦 you are not allowed to voice your opinion in those countries. What are you doing here? 🤔
— Tai Ad (@Adeori15) March 13, 2018
Ways to deal with it:
– stop reading twitter
– get someone else to read it for you and filter
– do something about the cause of the mean tweets – allowing Islamism to flourish.
if getting used to terrorism is part of living in a big city, then you can get used to mean tweets.
— some_guy_777 (@valleyhilltops2) March 13, 2018
“We know that there is technology that exists, algorithms that can be designed to spot this stuff,” Khan said. “This is not about depriving people of free speech, this is about inciting hatred, this is about things that divide our communities.”
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