YouTube shut down the comment section on its livestream of a congressional hearing on white nationalism Tuesday after it filled with hateful comments, underscoring the problem lawmakers had gathered to discuss.Many of the comments expressed anti-Semitic views or decried multi-cultural societies. Others expressed white pride.The comments overwhelmed the live stream as Neil Potts, Facebook’s public policy director, and Alexandria Walden, counsel for free expression and human rights at Google, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the role of the platforms in the rise of white nationalism. Both companies have been under mounting pressure to combat hate speech following a string of hate-ridden events, including a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville Virginia in 2017, a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 lat year and a terrorist rampage in New Zealand that left 50 Muslim worshippers dead earlier this year. The New Zealand shootings renewed pressure on tech companies because the gunman live streamed part of the attack on Facebook. The video spread to other social media sites including Twitter and Google-owned YouTube, raising questions about the ability of tech companies to combat hate speech.The flood of toxic comments during the congressional hearing demonstrated the difficulty tech companies, which often rely on users to flag… Read full this story
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