Social media companies ‘not trusted by the general public to fight on-line abuse’
The public does not trust social media companies to deal with the problem of online abuse and hateful content.
The study by the anti-abuse campaign group Hope not Hate found that 74% of respondents said they didn’t trust social media companies alone to decide what extreme content or disinformation is when they appear on their platforms.
It turned out that online public abuse remains a key issue. 73% of respondents said they were concerned about the amount of such content on social media.
And there’s strong public support for stricter regulations forcing tech companies to take action against harmful content. 71% agree that they should be legally held responsible for the content on their platforms and 73% say they should be forced to remove such content when it appears. .
“Allowing people to post hateful and obnoxious content online is not a way of protecting freedom of expression, but rather risks sowing divisions and reinforcing the hideous views of a tiny minority,” said group research director Joe Mulhall.
“Currently, online speech that causes division and harm is often defended on the grounds that removing it would undermine freedom of expression.
“In reality, allowing such language to be amplified only undermines the quality of public debate and harms the groups that achieve such language goals. This defense minimizes freedom of expression in theory and in practice.
“As our survey shows, there is clearly an overwhelming consensus that hateful content, even if it’s legal, is too visible on social media platforms.
“The only way to really ensure that everyone has freedom of expression is to protect anyone who is currently being attacked or marginalized on the basis of traits such as race, gender, or sexual orientation.