In an op-ed for The New York Times (paywall), Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, inserted himself directly into the middle of a heated debate about the line between fighting terrorism’s online reach and internet censorship.
“It’s our responsibility to demonstrate that stability and free expression go hand in hand,” he writes. “We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media—sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment.”
His words came just after Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, called on Silicon Valley to “disrupt ISIL” last weekend in Washington DC. Clinton said it is crucial to “deprive jihadists of virtual territory” by shutting off their means of communication.
With the rapid rise of ISIL and its sophisticated online recruitment and propaganda efforts, tech companies have been struggling with finding the balance between preventing terrorists from disseminating their message and being perceived as government tools for controlling the internet. Schmidt underlined that tech platforms should target terrorists’ social media accounts and remove video content—something that Google, Facebook, and Twitter already strive to do.
Schmidt did not provide details about his proposed “spell-checkers” for hate, but his suggestion may prove difficult to realize.
The debate about free speech versus hate speech is already a very controversial one, both in the United States where free speech is protected by the constitution, and elsewhere. People can barely agree on the definition of hate speech, so building algorithms to balance that fine line would be a tall order.
There are some other, less complicated ideas out there for fighting terrorists online. Donald Trump offered at a rally in South Carolina that maybe we should just shut down the internet. Trump said:
We’re losing a lot of people because of the internet. We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.
caution: adult language:
2-minute video: real news when a reporter snaps
By Carl Herman
Jonathan Pies brilliant 2-minute satire is based upon facts:
- Unlawful and lie-began wars,
- So-called money that is actually debt that creates accelerating and unpayable total debt.
- Destruction of nearly all rights lawfully guaranteed in the US Bill of Rights within the US Constitution.
- Covering the crimes with lies by corporate media.
Given the provable existing crimes and costs of millions killed, billions harmed, and trillions looted, with recent history continuing literal centuries of US lie-began Wars of Aggression that involved your families in two horrific previous global wars, its easy to imagine real-world scenes as Jonathan Pie represents in comedic art.
This is Emperors New Clothes obvious now to all who care to look.
Importantly, this is just one of literally ~100 game-changing areas of crimes and lies that require criminal arrests from those authorized to do so. My ongoing question in the face of ongoing crimes that threaten World War 3: youre willing to apply basic education to see, speak, and act for lawful arrests to stop these HUGE, ONGOING, and OBVIOUS crimes, yes?
You learned beginning in elementary school that limited government under the US Constitution prevents using military to attack and kill people with dictates that the victims are somehow bad.
Ready to put that education, all your moral values, and your honor into action?