Charlottesville incident protests compels tech industry to boot hate groups from their services
Charlottesville incident protests: The tech community isn’t keeping quiet about last week’s violent Charlottesville incident protests, Virginia. After all, technology is ubiquitous. The products and services you and I use every day are the same ones hate groups use to organize and spread their messages. Prominent tech leaders are involved in government panels. The president issues statements from his mobile phone.
Here’s a roundup of corporate responses to the events that left and more than 30 injured, as well as President Donald Trump’s controversial response. Broadly, they constitute a call to end online content that celebrates racism, bigotry and hatred.
A few days following the Charlottesville incident protestst, several companies have bounced The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as the top hate site in the US, from their services.
GoDaddy, which originally provided domain services to the site, over the weekend gave The Daily Stormer 24 hours to move elsewhere. The Daily Stormer then tried to register with Google Domains, a similar service, but the search giant quickly canceled the registration.
Twitter accounts associated with The Daily Stormer have also been suspended.
While the company said it wouldn’t comment on individual accounts, the platform’s rules “prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and [it] will take action on accounts violating those policies.”
Reddit has banned several far-right and neo-Nazi subreddits since Charlottesville, including one called Physical Removal.
“We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites violence will get users banned from Reddit. We have banned /r/Physical_Removal due to violations of the terms of our content policy,” a Reddit spokesperson said.
Ride-hailing service Uber said in a statement that it was “horrified” by the events in Charlottesville, adding “there is simply no place for this type of bigotry, discrimination, and hate.”
Uber said it would be vigilant in upholding its community guidelines, which prohibit discrimination of any kind, and would ban violators from using the app.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post on the social network responding to Charlottesville incident protests and underlining the site’s policy to take down any post that “promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism.”
We aren’t born hating each other. We aren’t born with such extreme views. We may not be able to solve every problem, but we all have a responsibility to do what we can. I believe we can do something about the parts of our culture that teach a person to hate someone else.
It’s important that Facebook is a place where people with different views can share their ideas. Debate is part of a healthy society. But when someone tries to silence others or attacks them based on who they are or what they believe, that hurts us all and is unacceptable.
There is no place for hate in our community. That’s why we’ve always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism — including what happened in Charlottesville. With the potential for more rallies, we’re watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm. We won’t always be perfect, but you have my commitment that we’ll keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe.
The last few days have been hard to process. I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from. As a Jew, it’s something I’ve wondered much of my life. It’s a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong — as if this is somehow not obvious. My thoughts are with the victims of hate around the world, and everyone who has the courage to stand up to it every day.
There may always be some evil in the world, and maybe we can’t do anything about that. But there’s too much polarization in our culture, and we can do something about that. There’s not enough balance, nuance, and depth in our public discourse, and I believe we can do something about that. We need to bring people closer together, and I know we can make progress at that.