Questions about policing online hate are much bigger than Facebook and YouTube – The Verge

Questions about policing online hate are much bigger than Facebook and YouTube – The Verge

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In the wake of a hate-fueled mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, major web platforms have scrambled to take down a 17-minute video of the attack.
Sites like YouTube have applied imperfect technical solutions, trying to draw a line between newsworthy and unacceptable uses of the footage.But Facebook, Google, and Twitter aren’t the only places weighing how to handle violent extremism. And traditional moderation doesn’t affect the smaller sites where people are still either promoting the video or praising the shooter. In some ways, these sites pose a tougher problem — and their fate cuts much closer to fundamental questions about how to police the web. After all, for years, people have lauded the internet’s ability to connect people, share information, and route around censorship. With the Christchurch shooting, we’re seeing that phenomenon at its darkest.New Zealand blocked sites spreading hate material after the shootingThe Christchurch shooter streamed video live on Facebook and posted it on other platforms, but his central hub was apparently 8chan, the image board community whose members frequently promote far-right extremism. .



8chan had already been booted from Google’s Search listings and kicked off at at least one hosting service over problems with child pornography. (8chan’s owner claims the site “vigorously” deletes child porn.) After the shooting, some users posted comments speculating that the site would be taken down. Forbes later raised the question of somehow shuttering 8chan, and in New Zealand, internet service providers actually did block it and a handful of other sites.The past couple of years have seen a wave of deplatforming for far-right sites, with payment processors, domain registrars, hosting companies, and other infrastructure providers withdrawing support. This practice has scuttled crowdfunding sites like Hatreon and MakerSupport, and it’s temporarily knocked the social network Gab and white supremacist blog The Daily Stormer offline.Companies that aren’t traditional social networks still have systems for scrubbing objectionable content. One user on 8chan’s subreddit pointed readers toward a Dropbox link with the video, but a Dropbox spokesperson told The Verge that it’s deleting these videos as they’re posted, using a scanning system similar to the one it uses to detect copyrighted work.Decentralization has been a key element of the internetIt’s hard to take a site down permanently, though, thanks to the plethora ....

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