Social Media Bosses Battered by MPs for Earning Billions by Enabling Hate Speech

By Gary Cutlack on at

A group of MPs has called in three of the tech giants' leading lights to answer questions about the spreading of hate speech and general abuse through their networks, with bosses from Twitter, Facebook and Google being straight-up accused of making "money out of hate" by members of the Home Affairs Committee. It's enough to make you proud of democracy for a change.

It's well worth watching the actual video of the grilling to see how much squirming is done by the trio of execs. In one particularly cringeworthy exchange, Yvette Cooper asks Google communications boss Peter Barron the question: "In what circumstance is 'Jews admit organising white genocide' not a statement of hate speech?" to which Barron fumbles and stutters something about the definition of hate speech and how it's more about interpretation than actual laws, without saying anything of meaning.

The Twitter man, meanwhile, was handed examples of offensive hashtags that weren't removed from his site. He said offensive hashtags are OK because some people use them to condemn people who use them for real, so that's all fine too.

In short, nothing will change so you can carry on abusing the weather forecasters with burner Twitter accounts, but three rich men had a really shit day out in Westminster and sweated through their suits, which was nice to see. [Home Affairs Committee via BBC]

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