Tech Starts To Get It Right
Tech touches the lives of many, even those who can’t afford it. It is woven into the fabric of every American citizen’s day. Tech has real power to influence our jobs, our relationships, and our personal freedom. But in 2017, tech companies are not particularly known for doing the right thing.
When it comes to age, race, gender, and economic equality, the track record isn’t stellar. Tech’s poor attempts at resolving its cultural problems are too often echoed in the way its content moderation teams handle abuse (or don’t). This week has been a turning point. Just maybe, tech is waking up.
Social media platforms, domain registrars, and hosts have booted high-profile white supremacists from their services after the horrific events in Charlottesville, VA, that killed three people. Their reaction is a glimmer of hope for those who have begged tech to do better for years.
Here’s a list of technology companies that have recently announced a new amendment to their Terms of Service regarding hate speech or the specific enforcement of such existing policies.
Airbnb canceled a number of accounts and bookings associated with the “Unite the Right” rally.
Apple has cut off Apple Pay services to websites selling Nazi apparel. It’s also collecting donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Anti-Defamation League, and other groups.
Cloudflare stopped providing its service to The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi and white supremacy publication, to counter the site’s assertion that the company shared their views.
GoDaddy removed The Daily Stormer, citing a Terms of Service violation.
GoFundMe has removed fundraising campaigns for James Fields, the man accused of killing Heather Heyer and injuring others in the attack in Charlottesville.
Google/Alphabet, Inc. announced that it, too, would revoke The Daily Stormer just a few short hours after it migrated there from GoDaddy. It also removed The Daily Stormer’s channel from YouTube.
OKCupid announced that it banned a white supremacist “for life.”
Squarespace removed a group of white supremacist sites, including that of Richard Spencer, citing its Acceptable Use Policy.
Tucows stopped providing services to The Daily Stormer’s founder.
Twilio added a hate speech prohibition to its Acceptable Use Policy.
WordPress took Vanguard America offline, citing a Terms of Service violation.
Zoho revoked The Daily Stormer’s access to its services, citing a Terms of Service violation.