pull the plug on Facebook hate speech

Sri Lanka's Special Task Force soldiers walk past a damaged houses after a clash between two communities in Digana central district of Kandy, Sri Lanka March 8, 2018.

Dinuka Liyanawatte | Reuters

Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force soldiers walk past a damaged houses after a clash between two communities in Digana central district of Kandy, Sri Lanka March 8, 2018.

Another nation has joined the growing ranks of those saying Facebook’s content-filtering systems aren’t Great enough.

Sri Lanka, faced with online content that will says has spurred deadly sectarian violence, This particular week banned Facebook’s social media in addition to messaging services in that will country.

By forcing internet service providers to pull the plug on Instagram, WhatsApp in addition to Facebook, the government there hopes to stem the spread of hate speech in addition to fake news that will blames for attacks on the country’s Muslim minority.

The ban came after several years in which critics have said Facebook in addition to the government there were not doing enough to prevent the spread of such harmful posts.

The move is usually also a reminder of why ridding social media sites of dangerous content may be hardest here in Facebook’s own home country.

Because the U.S. Constitution protects all speech except for threats which attempts to incite imminent violence, the government cannot arbitrarily force Facebook, YouTube (a unit of Alphabet), Twitter or additional social media sites off the internet.

In an emailed statement to CNBC, Facebook said:

“We have clear rules against hate speech in addition to incitement to violence in addition to work hard to keep that will off our platform. We are responding to the situation in Sri Lanka in addition to are in contact with the government in addition to non-governmental organizations to support efforts to identify in addition to remove such content.”

A person familiar with the company’s thinking regarding the Sri Lanka situation told CNBC the company believes that will restricting access to the internet can deprive people of an important communication tool during a time of crisis in addition to hopes that will access will soon be restored soon from the country.

The ban in Sri Lanka came the same week that will Germany’s brand-new coalition government says that will may revise a recently-enacted law to punish internet firms that will don’t remove hate speech quickly enough.

The law, seen as a test-case in Europe’s effort to rein in harmful social media content, has caused some speech to be removed unfairly, critics say.

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