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4 Sep 2016

Twitter, The Olympics, And Hate Speech

One of the out-takes of the recent Rio 2016 Olympics is how brilliant Twitter suddenly became at removing rape threats, violent hate speech and any content posted that breaks their terms and conditions.

No. Wait. That's not it.

Let's start again.

One of the out-takes of the recent Rio 2016 Olympics is how brilliant Twitter suddenly became at removing copyright violations at the behest of the Olympic Organisation, Authorised Broadcasters and Advertisers.

10s of 1000s of posts with clips showing unauthorised footage were removed. Which is fine, by the way, although it's hard to see what damage a 3-second GIF can do to a revenue stream. But this is very good for the Broadcasters. Probably. And perfectly understandable that such organisations should ask Twitter to take steps to protect their media rights.

So it's all the more puzzling why Twitter, having suddenly discovered such capabilities (that they denied having before) are still both unable and unwilling to pro-actively track and remove posts which contain extremism, hate speech, and threats of violence and rape - posts which constantly break current Twitter rules.

But then ... such posts are usually just targeted at ordinary people, not the powerful corporations that Twitter seeks to build alliances with. Hmm. Maybe that could be the reason.

Twitter previously stated that they can't do anything about such posts until they are reported - often not very much even then. However during Rio 2016 they were pro-actively hunting copyright violations using custom search algorithms, worldwide. Exactly what many have been asking Twitter to do for Violent Hate Speech.

We don't ask for a curtailment of Free Speech: just that Twitter apply the existing rules.

They clearly have the ability. So they no longer have the excuse.

Social Media is increasingly like this. Doesn't need to be.

Far Right Watch Team

Far Right Watch on Twitter