Can Social Media Be Trusted to Police Hate and Violence?
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FEATURING ROBERT ELLIOTT SMITH – When Donald Trump’s supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, egged on by their president, it seemed like the last straw for social media companies like Twitter and Facebook which for years had refused to hold Trump to the same standards as everyone else. Twitter suspended Trump permanently from using its platform, cutting his main bullhorn abruptly. Facebook merely suspended him indefinitely.
Now, as citizen Trump wants to resume fomenting hate and violence, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has turned over the decision about Trump using his platform to an “Oversight Board” of 40 academics and thinkers, who will issue a binding decision. The Trump suspension is being seen as a test case for how social media companies expect to deal with the proliferation of hate and violence on their platforms.
Robert Elliott Smith, an expert in Artificial Intelligence who has worked on projects for Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and more. He is a Fellow of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He is the author of Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All.