Ahead of Charlottesville anniversary, Twitter under fire for white supremacist content
A grand hypocrisy awaits Twitter in the coming years.
Given the recent purge of conservative pundits and journalists on social media as of late, you would think that platforms such as Twitter would have their algorithms well honed. After all, how can you so quickly and easily suspend and ban accounts who question the best way to enforce immigration laws without a solid grasp on the way your code is written?
Well, as it turns out, Twitter may not exactly have their finger on the pulse of their own censorship. That’s because, while they were busy conjuring all manner of reasons to ban or suspend right wing activists, politicians, and figureheads, the white supremacists reemerged on the platform with a vengeance…and Twitter’s attempts to quell their activity have been positively pathetic.
With the anniversary of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, approaching, Twitter is facing increased pressure from a nationwide coalition of civil rights organizations to once and for all take a stand against the white supremacists that operate freely on its platform.
Facebook and YouTube have taken (with mixed results) at least some action against white supremacists on their sites, but Twitter seems more content with largely ignoring the problem, the groups charge. The company has made several policy changes within the past several months, but none explicitly banning the racist ideology.
Now, advocacy groups are targeting Twitter directly.
Next week, Change the Terms—a coalition of digital and civil rights groups working to get social networks to adopt strict policies against hateful activities, including defamation targeting individuals or groups based on their “actual or perceived race”—is hosting a conference call with, among others, community activists from Charlottesville to discuss how “online hate turns into offline violence.”
Twitter’s failure to address the spread of racist ideologies in the two years since the deadly United the Right rally in Charlottesville, during which a man espousing neo-Nazi beliefs murdered 32-year-old Heather Heyer, has allowed “white supremacists to organize, fundraise, recruit and normalize attacks on diverse communities and threaten all users,” the groups said in a press release emailed to Gizmodo.
The irony here is that many of those conservatives being banned by Twitter are ardent patriots who believe, unequivocally, that all are created equal.
The white supremacists? Not so much.
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