back to article Internet giants removing 70 per cent of reported hate speech, crows European Commission

Tech firms are removing more hate speech faster than before – so now EU lawmakers want them to improve their feedback to users. According to the European Commission's latest review of the big four internet firms' action against illegal content online, the removal rate is, on average, 70 per cent of content reported. That's an …

  1. inmypjs Silver badge

    Hate speech is...

    still speech and all of it is better being free and open to discussion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hate speech is...

      Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion there is always an invisible line that can be crossed, it's what we do about that line that's the problem. I've thought about this a lot myself and there is no answer because it boils down to choice, freedom or censorship and should you choose censorship who censors the censors because when you give someone power they abuse it.

      I do believe it could be that the real answer to stopping hate speech is not censorship but education so people don't follow a path that leads to hate and unacceptable behaviour. I think the main reasons one group hates another is lack of understanding and a perceived imbalance so rather than censor try to educate why a particular viewpoint is wrong.

      There's my opinion and to add to that I think putting this power in the hands of companies like Facebook is a bad move because they will abuse it at some point, e,g, President Zuckerberg.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Hate speech is...

        Education is the answer to hate speech of all types, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc.

        The problem lies with where does education begin and finish and at what point could it be condsidered propagandising the 'student'?

        Passing laws against hate are almost laughable and only truly enforceable with real thought police.

        My worry with the current support for censorship is that it is the thin end of a potentially very thick wedge.

        Common sense seems to be fading away in the world .

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hate speech is...

          Good point that I didn't consider, who educates the educators?

          Maybe this is how most civilisations in history met their demise, you get to a certain point but are held back by the completely useless humans that have no ability to form a social society. Maybe the hieroglyphs were ancient Egyptian social media, that explains all the cats.

          1. PatrickEB

            Re: Hate speech is...

            Yeah...no.

            History doesn't show this

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Hate speech is...

              Who defines so-called "hate speech"? The slope is entirely too slippery for government/judicial hands.

          2. David 132 Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Hate speech is...

            AC Maybe the hieroglyphs were ancient Egyptian social media, that explains all the cats.

            What we think were their deities were actually Ancient Egyptian emoji.

            To express Disapproval: Tut, Tut

            ...Approval: Ra! Ra!

            ...Scorn: Ptah!

            ...Amusement: Heh!

            ...Trolling: How is Babi formed?

            Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go for Apis.

            (I'd like to thank the Wikipedia List of Egyptian Deities for allowing me to spin this joke out way past the point it should have ended.)

            1. Roj Blake

              Re: Hate speech is...

              There are some Osirisly bad puns there.

        2. PatrickEB

          Re: Hate speech is...

          There has often been hate speech legislation either clearly stated or couched in another fashion.

          Speak against the King or Queen?

          To say it's laughable ignores the many times it's been used to restrict and prevent the actions of vicious hateful people and limit their ability to make their toxic, menacing, threatening words be heard in more venues.

          I don't have a problem with limiting hate speech. I agree with another poster that education is ultimately the answer to the issue generally. HOWEVER, you only have to look at how some groups wish to proselytise their unfounded claims as facts and to run education facilities.

  2. codejunky Silver badge

    Duh

    Describing the German model as "clumsy and ineffective", he said that the "net effect" of threatening fines – with no equivalent pressure to protect legal speech – would be "huge erring on the side of caution".

    And this isnt the aim? At a time of deep embarrassment, migration crisis, political crisis, economic crisis and now brexit the EU would love the capacity of censorship. The idea has already been suggested to keep 'extremist' (read anti-EU) parties out of elections.

    Let them lock themselves down and become more hostile to the very businesses they want. Lets just keep out of it.

  3. Jeffrey Nonken

    And how many false positives? Who gets to define hate speech, anyway? No, this is legislators patting themselves on the back in an echo chamber. The correct counter for bad speech is more speech, not censorship.

    1. Bigg Phill

      The correct counter

      "The correct counter for bad speech is more speech, not censorship"

      Nailed it.

      Permission to re-use this (a lot)?

    2. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      I should have finished reading ...

      ... before adding to the thread.

      This round's on me, Mr. Nonken.

  4. gndl00p

    Censorship

    How do you censor people without them complaining? Call your opponents comments "hate speech"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Censorship

      This is precisely why the Left invented the concept of "hate speech." There really is no objective definition of that concept, but merely various subjective, ever changing assertions. Only the most hard core SJW is safe from PC Police, and maybe not even them.

      Happily that lunatic era is coming to an end. People are once again starting to say what they believe. The never-ending "hate speech" charges are a tiresome joke, and the SJW's need to go back in Mom's basement..

      1. PatrickEB

        Re: Censorship

        Spoken like a clueless keyboard warrior.

        I see you've got a significant position in the world and...sorry, I accidentally copied my 'Trump Speech' text into my response.

        Anyone who makes a claim like 'the left invented the concept of 'hate speech' knows nothing about history.

        Anyone who makes a claim that people 'saying what they believe' is an era just coming into it's own has no knowledge of history.

        I'd suggest telling your mother you're hungry and she can bring your lunch down to the basement.

  5. Triumphantape

    There's no way they are just removing "hate speech" (whatever that means these days).

    A 2 hour window means they are tossing anything remotely offending, including the truth.

  6. Slap

    If I’ve read between the lines correctly...

    So if I’ve read between the lines correctly the internet giants are removiing 70% of opinions that differ from the “required norm”, and also 70% of uncomfortable facts.

    Am I right? These days I feel like I am.

    1. PatrickEB

      Re: If I’ve read between the lines correctly...

      No. No you're not right.

      Try again.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just need to mention Amber Rudd...

    That should remove 70% of the El Reg comments below this post...job done.

  8. TXITMAN

    Censorship

    It is automated government sponsored censorship. Nothing else.

  9. neghvar

    Who defines hate speech?

    Who defines hate speech? Truly hateful speech such as racial slurs, derogatory or degrading remarks and threats, or are differing opinions hate speech too if one is not a politically correct opinion or differs from the person you are talking to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who defines hate speech?

      Even calling it "hate speech" is categorising/defining - "placing in a box" the definition/depth of the response to something written/spoken. It's difficult because you can't definite any response as a constant.

      As an example, if last year we'd had several abhorrent Manchester type bombings of children's concerts, not one, in succession, what people define as "hate speech" today, would be classed as a fairly normal response to the sheer scale of the situation.

      The people responsible would be hated and rightly so and there's your problem, right there. Hate is a response to a dislike of something and varies depending on the situation, it's not something that can be categorised or stays constant, defined by law. Times/situations change.

      Therefore it ends up as a law of suppression against the right to express your anger to something publicly, that is enforced using a baseline (so-called) rational/current "established point of view", to which your point of view differs, but given that is difficult to define, most cautiously opt to suppress their point of view instead, hence it acts as a form of suppression/censorship.

    2. PatrickEB

      Re: Who defines hate speech?

      Rather than ask questions go and read the legislation. See what the legislature discussed and then read the policies.

      It will help enormously.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who defines hate speech?

        Who defines hate speech? Probably the same people that define people as "extremists".

        // START_DEFINITION

        /*These variables define terms and websites relating to the TAILs (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) software program, a comsec mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums. */

        $TAILS_terms=word('tails' or 'Amnesiac Incognito Live System') and word('linux' or ' USB ' or ' CD ' or 'secure desktop' or ' IRC ' or 'truecrypt' or ' tor ');

        $TAILS_websites=('tails.boum.org/') or ('linuxjournal.com/content/linux*');

        // END_DEFINITION

      2. evilhippo

        Re: Who defines hate speech?

        You really do love and trust Big Brother, don't you.

  10. SouthernLogic

    Hate Speech VS Freedom of Speech

    It seems that the people of the EU have had yet another freedom taken away from them, or said more appropriately decided for them. It seems the EU has taken it upon themselves to decide for everyone what is acceptable speech and what is not.

    Who asked them to do that? The best and freest countries allow opinions from all points of view not just the ones that the government agrees with.

    How quickly Europeans have forgotten the lessons of the last century.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Hate Speech VS Freedom of Speech

      @ SouthernLogic

      "How quickly Europeans have forgotten the lessons of the last century."

      I keep being told the EU exists to stop that. Then get complained at for not voting the 'right' way

  11. Roj Blake

    Delete Button

    I get that pictures of keyboards with a doctored Enter key are a thing, but why do you need to do it with Delete, when there's already a perfectly good key for it?

  12. RobertLongshaft

    An oppressive totalitarian state with an overabundance of surveillance, wrongthink and wrongspeak is now openly punishable. The police have already been turned into the Ministry of Love, mainstream media the Ministry of Truth. Watch the news - it's the same liberal left wing message over and over again. Racist, Misogynist, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Transphobic, Islamophobic etc etc

    The Ministry of Plenty won't be far behind, controlling who can buy what from Tesco and Sainsbury's under the direction of comrade Corbyn and his loony neo marxist militant followers.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      @ RobertLongshaft

      Not sure where your left wingstuff comes in.

      Would not call German govt particularly left wing

      As for censorship, did you not miss the T May / UK Conservative govt (not left wing either) launch of a "Fake News Rapid Response Team" - I doubt that team will be pursuing anything "fake" that supports the govt aims.

      Or do you regard German & UK govt as left wing, in which case I doff my hat in amazement to a total redefinition of left - right that leaves almost all govts defined as left wing!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only 70%? Is nothing!

    In Kazakhstan famous Tinshein swimming pool has filter which remove 80% of solid human waste.

    Our Tinshein swimming pool cleaner than your internet!

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