Several social media platforms have joined together to limit hate speech online with some calling this an attack on the 1st Amendment.
Since the Christchurch, New Zealand, attacks, Facebook has integrated new restrictions to its Facebook Live feature in order to “limit its services from being used to cause harm or spread hate.” The company announced May 14 that anyone who breaks certain rules or the Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy will not be able to use Facebook Live.
“Before (May 14), if someone posted content that violated our Community Standards — on Live or elsewhere — we took down their post. If they kept posting violating content we blocked them from using Facebook for a certain period of time, which also removed their ability to broadcast Live,” Facebook wrote. “And in some cases, we banned them from our services altogether, either because of repeated low-level violations, or, in rare cases, because of a single egregious violation (for instance, using terror propaganda in a profile picture or sharing images of child exploitation).”
Facebook stated that there will be a one-strike policy to Live in which anyone who violates the company’s “most serious policy” will be restricted from using Live for “set periods of time — for example 30 days starting on their first offense.”
“For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time,” Facebook wrote.
This comes after New Zealand’s prime minister asked governments and social media platforms to sign a voluntary pledge to stop the spread of hate speech and extremism on social media, according to the Washington Post. Facebook announced this change ahead of the G-7 gathering in Paris, in which country officials and other tech companies attended, the Washington Post reports.
“The tech giant also pledged to commit $7.5 million to work with researchers at three universities to improve its ability to detect photos and videos that have been manipulated,” the Washington Post reports. “The new investment follows an admission from Facebook that malicious users evaded its censors by uploading slightly altered versions of the Christchurch attack video.”
Facebook is partnering with The University of Maryland, Cornell University and The University of California, Berkeley to implement these new research strategies.
Facebook also noted that it will implement other restrictions in the coming weeks, including preventing the creation of ads by people who break the rules.
“These are complex issues and our adversaries continue to change tactics. We know that it is only by remaining vigilant and working with experts, other companies, governments and civil society around the world that we will be able to keep people safe. We look forward to continuing our work together,” Facebook wrote.