All FSI News News August 9, 2022

Banning Content Platforms is Not a Solution to Hate Speech on the Internet, Even When the Platform is Meta

Julie Owono, Executive Director of the Content Policy & Society Lab (CPSL) and a fellow of the Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) at Stanford University, on the issue of banning platforms. Authored for Just Security.
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Just Security

Is censorship of access to websites an efficient solution to compel content platforms to curb hate speech? If you’d asked me the question before July 29, 2022, my answer as an ardent defender of unfettered access to the internet would have been: Obviously, no!

But after Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission’s (NCIC) threat to ban Facebook, concern is allowed. The Commission, after reading Global Witness’ report on hate-filled ads that were accepted by Facebook, and based on its own assessment of the situation, decided to compel the parent company to do more, or it would be banned from the country during the Aug. 9, 2022 presidential election. The election is poised to be contested, in a country where ethnic violence has occurred in the heated aftermath of election results, It is understandable that the NCIC – a government agency created in 2008 to prevent ethnic violence – takes the matter of online spread of hate speech very seriously.

Julie Owono

Executive Director of the Content Policy & Society Lab (CPSL) and a fellow of the Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) at Stanford University
Julie Owono

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Julie Owono & Dr. Niousha Roshani
News

Program on Democracy and the Internet Launches New Content Policy & Society Lab (CPSL)

The new project identifies solutions to the main challenges of moderating content online while respecting fundamental human rights.
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Blogs

Comparing Platform Hate Speech Policies: Reddit's Inevitable Evolution

On Monday, June 30, 2020, Reddit updated its policy on hate speech. As part of research for a forthcoming book based on the Stanford Internet Observatory’s Trust and Safety Engineering course, we present a comparative assessment of platform policies and enforcement practices on hate speech, and discuss how Reddit fits into this framework.
Image of the U.S. Capitol where debates on how to reform Section 230 take place.
Blogs

Can Congress Mandate Meaningful Transparency for Tech Platforms

When it comes to mitigating online harms, the U.S. Congress is at least united on one point: