Hey! You! Get Off Of My Cloud

For a long time, Civil Rights groups have been urging tech companies to kick hate groups off of their networks. And, after Charlottesville, several key Internet players are starting to clean up their neighborhoods. Facebook is doing it. Twitter is doing it. Apple Pay is doing it. Google, GoDaddy and PayPal are doing it. Even Spotify is doing it (yes, there are hate bands too). This all seems like good news. We’re cleaning up the Internet, right? But what happens when one of these few, powerful companies kick someone off the network that you think deserves to be on it? We have the mechanisms to block groups. But do we have an agreed upon rulebook?

+ Earlier this week, a company called Cloudflare terminated the service for a hate site called The Daily Stormer. The tech company’s CEO didn’t shy away from thorny nature of the decision: “Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision. It was different than what I’d talked talked with our senior team about yesterday. I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet … It was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company. Having made that decision we now need to talk about why it is so dangerous.”

+ Nick Bilton: Tech leaders still have no coherent vision for how to police hate speech without becoming tyrants, themselves.

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