Good riddance, Alex Jones: The Year in Deplatforming

Deplatforming is a blunt but effective tool in the eradication of toxic speech online.Image: Oivind Hovland/Getty Images This was the year we began to answer the age old question: if a bigot rants in a forest, and nobody is around to hear him, does anybody care what that idiot says? Over the past year, internet companies wielded the hammer known as “deplatforming” more than ever. Deplatforming, or no-platforming, is the term for kicking someone off social media or other sites when they break the rules by, say, using hate speech,…

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Odds and Ends 

Its time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a legal distinction between media publications and media platforms that has made solving hate speech online a vexing problem. Take, for instance, an op-ed published in the New York Times calling for the slaughter of an…

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