New York to Create Social Media Task Force to Report “hateful content”

By Mike Campbell

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new bill establishing a social media task force to monitor and report “hateful content” to the state.

“In the state of New York, we’re now requiring social media networks to monitor and report hateful content on their platforms,” she said.

“And now we’re going to continue focusing on this. We’re going to establish a task force on social media and violent extremism to investigate the role of social media in promoting domestic terror.”

The bill includes increasing penalties on a person “who subjects a person to harassment” and anyone “who aids or incites” violence or harassment.

Following the tragic shooting in Buffalo last month, Hochul said that social media companies need to do better in combating hate speech. She focused her concern on white supremacy “and other hateful ideologies,” as the murderer in the Buffalo incident had posted a white supremacist manifesto.

Of course, hate speech and inciting violence are already prohibited on social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube, but this bill requires social media to report such incidents.

What’s unclear is if the bill would entail more censorship or if it’s just a reporting system for standards that are already in place by social media companies.

In Canada, the Liberal government was recently criticized by Twitter for attempting to regulate the internet. Twitter even submitted feedback to the government that compared the Liberals to China and North Korea:

“The proposal by the government of Canada to allow the Digital Safety Commissioner to block websites is drastic. People around the world have been blocked from accessing Twitter and other services in a similar manner as the one proposed by Canada by multiple authoritarian governments (China, North Korea, and Iran, for example) under the false guise of ‘online safety’ impeding peoples’ rights to access information online.”

“Further, there are no checks or balances on the commissioner’s authority, such as the requirement of judicial authorization or warnings to service providers. The government should be extremely mindful of setting such a precedent – if Canada wants to be seen as a champion of human rights, a leader in innovation and in net neutrality globally, it must also set the highest standards of clarity, transparency and due process in its own legislation.”

Source: The Counter Signal

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