"All he'd have to do is fix that ... he's taken three years since Charlottesville, and he hasn't fixed it yet," Adams said.
"Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I'm tired of it," Roberts said in an impassioned reaction to Thursday's press briefing.
Trump's refusal to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups during Tuesday night's debate follows a similar pattern.
On social media members of the far-right group celebrated the president's comments, and launched a renewed recruitment drive.
Civil rights group Muslim Advocates says Facebook ignored its repeated warnings about Islamophobic groups and events promoting violence.
The revelation is likely to contribute to internal tensions at Facebook, where employees have protested far-right organizing on the platform.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
In June this year, Reddit began a huge campaign to remove hateful content from its site, blocking communities that engaged in hate speech and harassment. In an update on its progress today, the company says it’s banned nearly 7,000 subreddits (including repeat offenders) resulting in an 18 percent drop in users posting hateful content.
“While I would love that number to be 100 percent, I’m encouraged by the progress,” writes Reddit user u/worstnerd, a member of the company’s Safety team.
“While I would love that number to be 100 percent, I’m encouraged by the progress.”
The progress is part of a sea change at Reddit after the site introduced new policies that explicitly ban hate speech and promised to enforce them rigorously. Reddit has...
Protesters across Europe have taken to the streets in recent weeks to promote conspiracy theories about the pandemic, and rally against face masks and other health safeguards.“I will not be masked, tested, tracked or poisoned,” read a sign at a protest in Hyde Park last month.On August 1, about 20,000 people attended an anti-mask “Day of Freedom” rally in Berlin, demanding “freedom” and “resistance” and declaring the pandemic a hoax.And on Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered in Madrid to protest the mandatory use of face masks in every public space in Spain, a requirement the government announced on Friday along with a ban on smoking in outdoor areas when keeping a safe distance is impossible.People at the demonstration were seen holding placards reading “no to the muzzle” and chanting “freedom” to demand that face masks be voluntary and that they have the right to choose whether to get a potential Covid-19 vaccine.Many of the protesters denied that the coronavirus exists and chanted: “There are no new outbreaks.”Spain recorded almost 3,000 new cases on Friday, about double the average in the first 12 days of August, bringing the cumulative total to 342,813 – the highest in western Europe.On Tuesday, the president of the Spanish Society of Immunology, Marcos López Hoyos, warned that the coronavirus situation in the country could worsen “at any time”.“Although we cannot say that there is a second wave, everything indicates that at any moment the situation could return to the scenario of March and April,” Hoyos said.Similar demonstrations have been held in Madrid in recent months. In May, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the city’s wealthy Salamanca neighbourhood to protest continued lockdown restrictions.The latest rally was promoted on social media by the Spanish singer Miguel Bosé, a leading proponent of coronavirus conspiracy theories. He has called the pandemic “a big lie” and has launched a campaign against an eventual coronavirus vaccine, claiming it is simply an excuse for international governments to implant microchips or nanobots into people and control them via 5G cellular networks.“Once they activate the 5G network, key in this global domination strategy, we will be sheep at their mercy,” Bosé wrote on social media in June.Many of the protesters who attended Sunday’s rally in Madrid learned about the event through social media and messaging platforms like Telegram, which allows users to create groups of thousands of people.HuffPost Spain obtained access to a Telegram group with more than 50,000 members that has become a central place for people to share coronavirus conspiracy theories, organise protests and suggest slogans for upcoming demonstrations.In videos and messages shared on the platform, users accused the media of lying about the pandemic and said that the Spanish government and opposition parties are “united to bring about the ruin of Spain and our families”.Some messages suggest that the pandemic is a conspiracy against Donald Trump, and that chemtrails are responsible for the increased number of people experiencing respiratory problems.“The pandemic is over. There are and never have been any viruses. People have gotten sick from the flu vaccine that contained a toxic blood clotting agent,” one message claims. “Quarantines, masks, gloves and alcohol wipes are illegal. All this is the plan of Bill Gates, bankers, laboratories and politicians for the reduction of the world population. The mask is unnecessary and goes against human rights.” As Kathryn Joyce has reported for HuffPost and Type Investigations, billionaire Gates has become a central focus of coronavirus conspiracy theories.Much of the news shared via the Spanish Telegram group comes from Breitbart News, the conservative website that has long served as a central clearinghouse for the alt-right’s ideology.And many of the group’s actions and protest signs take inspiration from right-wing anti-lockdown protests in the United States. Photos of protests in America are shared frequently in the Spanish Telegram group.A common theme of the Telegram messages is “don’t be fooled”. Yet it is the protesters who are fooling themselves by spreading falsehoods about the pandemic and efforts to address it.“These movements [...] are based on a denial. In other words, if something hurts or scares us, the easy thing is to deny it,” Guillermo Fouce, a professor of social psychology, told HuffPost Spain.According to Fouce, the pandemic environment of vulnerability and uncertainty has allowed conspiracy theories to thrive. “Since science cannot provide all the answers,” he said. “There are those who take advantage of this lack of information by offering easy solutions.”With reporting from HuffPost Spain, HuffPost US and Reuters.Related...
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Since Facebook announced a ban on June 30, more than 100 new groups have formed
The YouTube channel was a big promoter of white nationalist rhetoric and ideas
YouTube is absolutely capable of keeping white nationalists from hijacking its platform, but is it even remotely interested in doing so?Sigh along with me as we review the site’s latest exploits.YouTube’s most recent policy clusterfuck was kicked off earlier this week by none other than its own CEO, Susan Wojcicki, who committed to keeping “controversial or even offensive” videos on the platform.And if YouTube’s vow in January to deemphasise so-called “borderline content” – the stuff that doesn’t break the rules, but only just barely – sounded like a crackdown, Wojcicki’s announcement on Tuesday was interpreted by some of the Internet’s most odious users as a green light.Among them, a member of the extended InfoWars family called War Room, which Motherboard reported yesterday was back on the site for around 17 hours.YouTube CEO says ‘Alex Jones’ and ‘Infowars Ban Is Over’”.
Take-Two chief executive officer Strauss Zelnick is on something of a victory lap.The publisher had one of the best earnings reports of the season.The company also has high hopes for the upcoming shooter Borderlands 3, which is debuting in September.And Zelnick talked about all of that when he went on Mad Money for an interview with host Jim Cramer yesterday.But the Take-Two boss also addressed the recent mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which right-wing swindlers are attempting to link to video games as part of a transparent effort to draw attention away from guns and white nationalism.As GamesBeat PC gaming guest post editor Rowan Kaiser documented last week, Walmart, Disney, and more are all taking the right-wing’s bad-faith bait about video games and violence.
Following this weekend's mass shooting by a white nationalist in El Paso, Texas, Cloudflare has announced that it will no longer provide security services to the imageboard site 8chan.Without the company to protect it, the site will be vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that have the potential to permanently disable it unless 8chan is able to find another security service.Cloudflare has cited free speech issues as the reason it has not pulled its services from extremist websites though the company did end support for the white extremist site the Daily Stormer in the past.Who, if anyone, should have the power to silence voices on the internet?The recent attack in El Paso, which left 20 people dead and 24 injured, has been described as “one of the deadliest days in Texas history” by Texas Governor Greg Abbot.It was the third shooting this year and has been linked to white nationalist ideology which 8chan allowed to spread on its site.
Cloudflare, an online infrastructure service that helps websites mitigate DDoS attacks, will be terminating its service for 8chan following the deadly, white nationalist shooting in El Paso, Texas over the weekend.The owners of 8chan have already been notified that their services will be revoked, opening the site up for potential DDoS attacks that could shut it down entirely.Cloudflare will officially shut down service at midnight Pacific Time tonight.It is not clear whether 8chan’s owners have found a new security service to replace Cloudflare.“While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online,” Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare wrote in a blog post Sunday night.“It does nothing to address why mass shootings occur.
In recent years, Rhodesian iconography has gained popularity among young men with white nationalist leanings.Infatuation with Rhodesia first received media attention after it was discovered that Dylann Roof—the white supremacist who killed 9 black churchgoers in 2015—had a personal website called “Last Rhodesian,” where he posted his manifesto.To Dylann Roof and many others, Rhodesia is a symbol of militarized white nationalism and the fantasy of a race war.Rhodesia has a history that is so alien to the places we’re seeing it celebrated that we should be curious.Anyone can transform their love, hate, or fascination with a piece of fiction or history into new worlds.You can dream up your own version of their history, one that involves original tales of war, diplomacy, love, and religion.
Twitter has a new ad campaign running in San Francisco and New York City, featuring tweets from the “Me on Twitter” memes, in which users post two photos (of themselves or otherwise) or statements highlighting how differently they behave on different social networks.The campaign, as reported by Creative Bloq, seeks to embrace the platform as a place where quirky, funny, viral things happen.And they do — along with all of the other nonsense that concurrently happens on Twitter, ranging from harassment, racism, sexism, white nationalism, and Twitter generally being bad at enforcing its own anti-abuse policies.But look at how funny these tweets are!According to Creative Bloq, Twitter recently unfollowed everyone, including its own CEO Jack Dorsey, and followed the 28 people who are featured in this campaign instead.Twitter confirmed to The Verge that it received consent from all users featured in the campaign, with 31 tweets plastered in various New York subway and San Francisco Muni stations.
This month, hundreds of migrants from Central America and Africa have assembled outside Tijuana's El Chaparral border office, in hopes of being granted asylum in the United States.Yet, given new rules announced by the Trump administration last week, the scene they've found upon arrival has been one of charged uncertainty.Under the new guidelines, asylum seekers must apply for protection in at least one country they've traveled through before asking for sanctuary in the US.On Tuesday, a San Francisco judge issued a preliminary injunction against the administration's mandate, halting a move that would've all but barred entry to migrants in need of refuge.White nationalism is corroding the center of democracy, unforgiving of anyone who challenges its mission of maintaining conservative values.The proposed asylum mandate—essentially a wholesale ban—is entirely symbolic of Trump's exclusionary gospel; in fact, he thrives on this kind of cultural division.
Facebook has begun pilot tests of new content moderation tools and policies after an external audit raised numerous issues with the company’s current approach to tackling hate speech.In a report published by Facebook on Sunday, auditors criticized Facebook’s intense focus on “achieving consistency in review decisions,” which they said “translates to a blunter set of policies that are less able to account for nuance” and cripples moderators’ ability to properly police hate speech on the platform.Its criticism of the policy that led Facebook to give a number of high profile extremists the boot earlier this year is similar: It is simultaneously overly broad and oddly specific, making enforcement difficult.Unlike previous criticisms of Facebook’s content moderation strategy (of which there are many), this one is notable as it effectively comes from inside the house.And its breadth and specificity suggests that the auditors had seemingly unparalleled access to the inner workings of parts of the company that are often shielded from public view.Facebook agreed to conduct the civil rights audit last May in response to allegations that it discriminates against minority groups.
The Heritage Foundation,a conservative public policy think tank, will convene meetings on these issues with Facebook executives.Before you answer, read Tony Romm in Tuesday’s Washington Post, reporting on an upcoming “social media summit” at the White House:The president’s top aides so far have said their scheduled, July 11 event aims to assemble “digital leaders” to discuss the “opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.” In doing so, though, the White House quietly has invited tech’s top conservative critics in politics and media, The Post has learned, some of whom say the solution to Silicon Valley’s perceived political bias is to break up the tech giants or more aggressively regulate them.Trump repeated his criticisms about social media companies in an interview on Fox News that aired Monday, telling host Tucker Carlson that Facebook, Google and Twitter were “against me” before suggesting the administration might “take action” against them.In yesterday’s edition I argued that Facebook’s move to test a dedicated hate speech queue in the hopes that it led to better moderation outcomes could create new mental health burdens for moderators.House Democrats are requesting Facebook halt development of its proposed cryptocurrency project Libra, as well as its digital wallet Calibra, until Congress and regulators have time to investigate the possible risks it poses to the global financial system.
Joseph Cox summarizes it for us in Vice:The report itself is split into four sections: content moderation and enforcement; advertising targeting practices; elections and census; and the civil rights accountability structure.With content moderation, the audit focused on harassment on Facebook; the under-enforcement of policies where hate speech is then left on the platform; and Facebook’s over-enforcement of hate speech policies where users have content removed that actually condemned or spoke out against hate speech.Alex Hern reports in the Guardian:White nationalism and white separatism were previously allowed on Facebook as the company considered only white “supremacy” to be in breach of its hate speech policies.However, in March 2019 it updated its rules to ban the explicit praise, support or representation of the former two ideologies as well.