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Should tech companies censor hate speech?

Social media must stop racism spreading

Tech giants shouldn't have that kind of power

 Getty: Scott Olson / Staff

As far-right and racist ideals grow with the help of the internet, it is the responsibility of social media companies like Facebook to remove content that crosses the line, argues Oliver Bilger of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Mark Zuckerberg has made statements strongly condemning hate, but his website has too often allowed intolerance to be spread. Social media has been too lax with xenophobia. A stronger stance is needed to stomp out content that promotes racism. It already does this with nudity, which it identifies and deletes rapidly. A similar approach is needed to make sure that hate speech is limited.

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Facebook or Google deciding whether to ban far-right websites gives them too much power in determining what discourse belongs in the public eye, holds Stephen L. Carter of Bloomberg. They essentially purge these outlets from a large part of the internet. This is no longer the case of a small private company denying a service that can be provided elsewhere. The internet is the prime landscape for public discourse. Tech companies’ power to ban certain groups may seem fine as long as they ban neo-Nazi sites, but this opens the door to further censorship. Social media giants shouldn’t be given this kind of power.

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