Digital rights group terms Google's banning of Neo-nazi site 'dangerous'

Image credit Tech Insider

Image credit Tech Insider

An anonymous in-house chatroom at Facebook that had become a "hub" for Donald Trump supporters was closed previous year by the company after comments made on the forum disturbed management, according to several reports. Though the forum was shut down past year, it was reported only on Wednesday. Which is why it's not surprising to hear the company shut down an internal discussion group, Facebook Anon, following employee harassment surrounding the 2016 election.

Responding to this growing number of tech companies and their fights against neo-Nazis, the EFF warned of a unsafe approach that might do more to hurt free speech than many realize. At the same time however, Facebook markets its platform to advertisers exlicitly on the basis that it is able to provide detailed personal information based on what its post and read.

The same day, though, the Wall Street Journal reported that Zuckerberg has some experience with calls coming from inside the house.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg shut down an anonymous employee group following the election of Donald Trump, after it devolved into a forum for divisive political commentary that alarmed management, according to a report by Business Insider.

Further, Reddit and Facebook reportedly have each banned entire hate groups. Expanding to include different market segments requires a certain image and Facebook like the others needs to look as tolerant as possible or at least nonpartisan if not all inclusive. But in an age where the thoughts of those who hate can be immediately shared on social media sites, networks like 4Chan, Facebook, and Twitter have become breeding grounds for hatred and bigotry.

After Mark Zuckerberg told employees why Facebook Anon had been shut down, this poster commemorating the group was put up in Facebook's campus.

The internal group was created in May 2015 as a popular platform for employees to share their opinions about the workplace.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a prominent digital rights advocacy group, warned in a blog post on Thursday that tech companies are going down a risky path after three different companies revoked their services from a white supremacist website this week.

"There is no place for hate in our community", Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook Wednesday. Initially, the platform was used to discuss ethical issues such as taking home extra food from the company's cafeteria.

Lori Goler, Facebook's head of human resources, said the employee group violated the company's terms of service.

The forum had been popular with employees who supported the candidacy of Donald Trump in the contentious 2016 USA presidential race, according to the reports.

Facebook chose to pull the plug on the group one month after Trump was elected president.

For example, the EFF mentioned that some people want to label Black Lives Matter as a hate group, and that the NAACP has been a target since the Civil Rights era. No group of any kind should take precedence over others, and violence is abhorrent in nearly all its forms.

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