LONDON MAYOR Sadiq Khan wants tech firms to do more to tackle hate speech and content and wants stricter regulation and fines to force them to comply.
At SXSW in Austin, Texas, Khan found himself performing a keynote speech presumably after going on a bender with and forgetting he's in charge of London, not Austin.
But as part of this speech, Khan read out various racist and hate-fuelled tweets that have been fired his way. He was called a "muzzie terrorists" by some oxygen thief, and received death threats including one which said: "I'd pay for someone to execute Sadiq Khan."
Clearly, the person has more money than sense and is a massive coward.
Khan used these tweets to highlight the platform social networking sites give hate-powered tosspots and racists, and noted the potential damage it could cause society.
"What happens when young boys and girls from minority backgrounds see this kind of thing on their timelines, or experience it themselves?" he said. "Or someone thinking about becoming a politician? And what about young girls and women who are being driven from these platforms, reversing our long fight for gender equality? We simply must do more to protect people online."
Khan acknowledged that social media platforms already have a legal obligation to remove content that breaks local laws such as the propagation of hate speech, but said that such processes don't happen fast enough.
However, he said that with the resources such social networking companies have at their disposal, there's scope for them to go "further and faster" in tackling hate speech.
Using Germany as an example, Khan explained that more could be done to get the likes of Twitter and Facebook to better tackle hate-centric content.
"Germany is an example of where the German government said 'Enough. Unless you take down hate messages, unless you take down fake news, we will fine you'," he said. "I want to work with the tech companies, but you have to be responsible."
With far-right groups such as Britain First being banned from Twitter, there is already some action underway. But you simply have to look at any tweets from major Twitter accounts mentioning immigration or Muslims to see frothing responses awash with bigoted views and hate. So it's no wonder Khan wants more action to be taken.
The sheer volume of hate on social media can get a bit depressing. But it's worth noting that posters of hate speech tend to come from folks with the barely the most basic brain functions needed to operate a computer or smartphone. And many have no sense of irony.
For example, in response to a tweet that Khan put out celebrating London's African community, @Latino_Amante tweeted: "Treason is still a crime punishable by death in this country. Your name will be at the top of that list."
Now we're no experts in name etymology, but as Fernandes seems to point out, he is of Latino origin. And if history serves us correctly Latin Americans are much less part of the fabric of London's society than those of African descent.
As an aside, Fernandes has a peace symbol in his name, seemingly unironically.
Treason is still a crime punishable by death in this country. Your name will be at the top of that list.— Dani Fernandes☸☯☮🕉 (@Latino__Amante) October 16, 2017
There's also no treason death list in the UK, unless the Queen has one squirrelled away in some Buckingham Palace alcove.
But then anyone with an iota of intelligence will already know that such racists and hatemongers are sterling examples of human evolution going backwards and deserve only enough attention to be purged from social platforms. µ
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