Feeling caught in the World Wide Web of permitted hate speech online? This Wednesday at Verso Books in DUMBO, you’ll have the chance to ban together with folks both IRL and online to shoulder the burden of the report button. The Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC)’s No Platform For Fascism coalition is hosting a Party To Report YouTube at 8pm, which intends to harness the power of community activism and make the corners of the internet a little less upsetting by asking YouTube to well, actually enforce their hate speech policy.
If you’ve ever been online, you know that the internet is capable of doing a lot of good, but just as much (if not more) evil. In 2017, you’d think current content moderation regulations would be well-equipped to handle the constant onslaught of hate and troll. However, time and time again we see that across nearly all major platforms, things like trans people using their chosen name will lead to bans from Facebook, while Twitter stays eerily silent on actual harassment.
Never did the insidious allowances social media platforms give to hate groups become clearer than last week, when ProPublica reported that Facebook’s self-service ad buying platform allowed paying advertisers to target their ads at groups like “jew hater.” Though YouTube recently announced it would crack down on “controversial religious or supremacist content” after big-name advertisers temporarily pulled their ads from the platform, it also recently removed (and later reinstated) a video of a Nazi swastika being destroyed, citing a…violation of their hate speech policy? Algorithms are flawed, but presumably more attention will be paid to content that’s manually flagged by enough people.
If you’re interested in joining the report fest but can’t physically make it to Verso on Wednesday night, message MACC on Facebook for information on how to participate remotely in the event.
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