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London’s Muslim mayor reads threatening tweets about himself during SXSW in plea for Facebook and Twitter to stop hate speech


This is sheer demagoguery. Khan has been threatened, and so he wants speech restrictions on social media? I’ve had more death threats than I can count, as well as several actual attempts on my life. Should Facebook and Twitter therefore curtail criticism of pro-freedom activists? Sadiq Khan would be the first to say no. But whey are threats to him more important than threats to anyone else? Does he really think, or want the rest of the world to think, that only leftists and Muslims ever get threatened?

Anyway, he doesn’t have to worry. Facebook and Twitter have already gone to great efforts to shut conservatives out of their platforms, and much more is coming. We need antitrust legislation to curb the immense power these social media monsters have over the means of communication. If that legislation is not forthcoming, it will increasingly only be the left, the likes of Sadiq Khan, that are allowed to be heard in the public square. No dissent will ever be voiced. That’s totalitarianism.

“The mayor of London read racist tweets about himself during SXSW as a plea for Facebook and Twitter to stop hate speech,” by Melia Robinson, Business Insider, March 12, 2018:

London Mayor Sadiq Khan made a moving plea for tech companies to take on hate speech at the annual SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, on Monday.

During his talk, the mayor read racist tweets about himself.

“I say kill the mayor of London and you’ll be rid of one Muslim terrorist,” Khan read aloud. “I’d pay for someone to execute Sadiq Kahn.”

Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital city, said he read the half a dozen tweets or so not to “be portrayed as a victim” or “ask for sympathy, but to illustrate that big tech has further to go in making the internet free of hate speech.

“But ask yourself this, what happens when young boys and girls from minority backgrounds see this kind of thing on their timelines or experience this themselves?” Kahn said.

Kahn warned that tweets like the ones addressed to him send a message to minority children that if they don’t look a certain way or subscribe to the same establishment beliefs, they will grow up thinking there’s no path for them in high-profile careers.

“We simply must do more to protect people online,” Kahn said.

Kahn urged companies like Facebook and Twitter to show “a stronger duty of care,” so that “social media platforms can live up to their promises to connect, unify, and democratize the sharing of information and be places where everyone feels welcomed and valued.”

The London mayor offered a few recommendations. He suggested that Facebook and Twitter remove offensive content and misinformation faster. If they don’t, he said, they should face fines.

Germany began enforcing a new rule in January that gives social media platforms just 24 hours to decide if something is hate speech. German police are investigating far-right politician Beatrix von Storch after she described Muslims as “barbarians” on Facebook and Twitter.

Kahn said he expects Londoners to pressure their representatives to create a similar rule.

“This isn’t about depriving people of free speech — this is about inciting hatred,” Kahn said. “This is about things that divide our community.”

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