BALANCING ACT Google’s chairman wants algorithms to censor the internet for hate speech

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In an op-ed for The New York Times (paywall), Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, inserted himself directly into the middle of a heated debate about the line between fighting terrorism’s online reach and internet censorship.

“It’s our responsibility to demonstrate that stability and free expression go hand in hand,” he writes. “We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media—sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment.”

His words came just after Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, called on Silicon Valley to “disrupt ISIL” last weekend in Washington DC. Clinton said it is crucial to “deprive jihadists of virtual territory” by shutting off their means of communication.

With the rapid rise of ISIL and its sophisticated online recruitment and propaganda efforts, tech companies have been struggling with finding the balance between preventing terrorists from disseminating their message and being perceived as government tools for controlling the internet. Schmidt underlined that tech platforms should target terrorists’ social media accounts and remove video content—something that Google, Facebook, and Twitter already strive to do.

Schmidt did not provide details about his proposed “spell-checkers” for hate, but his suggestion may prove difficult to realize.

The debate about free speech versus hate speech is already a very controversial one, both in the United States where free speech is protected by the constitution, and elsewhere. People can barely agree on the definition of hate speech, so building algorithms to balance that fine line would be a tall order.

There are some other, less complicated ideas out there for fighting terrorists online. Donald Trump offered at a rally in South Carolina that maybe we should just shut down the internet. Trump said:

We’re losing a lot of people because of the internet. We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.

Source

http://qz.com/568580/googles-chairman-wants-algorithms-to-censor-the-internet-for-hate-speech/

2 thoughts on “BALANCING ACT Google’s chairman wants algorithms to censor the internet for hate speech

  1. Eric Schmidt is showing us just how ignorant he is.
    ERIC SCHMIDT HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT
    Some websites have a scrutiny system that will not allow according to certain words – they will not accept your comment because of key words that are offensive
    LIKE:
    pee
    diddly squat
    crickey
    chump
    mug
    All there words & there is even more refined scrutiny.
    Maybe ‘they are wanting to prevent the actual COMMUNICATION in the first place
    Eric Schmidt is wanting to make it so difficult AND/OR impossible for you to put up anything written on the internet.
    ERIC SCHMIDT DOES NOT KNOW HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS.
    I BET HE IS STILL AFRAID OF HIS COMPUTER.
    Any system NO MATTER HOW SOPHYSTICATED cannot tell what you are saying – answering machines respond to certain words pre-programmed into there system – other wise they do not have any idea what you have said to them.
    “A SPELL CHECKER FOR HATE & HARASSMENT”
    I put a comment on a MURDOCH qwned online news outlet – about MURDOCH because the article was about MURDOCH – I did not expect that they would allow it & knew that they would pull it immediately.
    I wrote about my father & his incontinance & his incontinance nappy & senility & how well Mr. Murdoch was doing but it would be foolinh to take any notice of an old, incontinant, senile man in his incontinance nappy.
    It made it through the scruteny of THEIR finely tuned automatic sensor system AND no one picked on its derogatory content for 3 days –
    ERICH SCHMIDT IS AN IMPORTANT MAN – THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GOOGLE – HE AND THE LIKES OF HIM WILL SEND GOOGLE TO THE WALL IN NO TIME.

  2. P.S.
    I think this is all good – it is nice to see just what the milliondollar salarys are paying for in the corporate world.
    And I await with joyous anticipation the dowfall of google.
    last week
    TELSTRA was going to triple their rates over the holiday periosd / or some such thing – it was pointed out to the smart gits
    THAT THEIR GULLABLE CUSTOMERS WOULD GO TO ANOTHER SERVICE PROVIDER AND TELSTRA WOULD GO BROKE
    TELSTRA SAW THE END FLASH BEFORE THEIR EYES AND BACKED DOWN.
    DUMB, DUMMER, DUMMEST works exclusively in the corporate world.
    by the way
    Isn’t it time for that old shoe that is GLEN STEVENS TO RETIRE ?

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