Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Antisemitism on the rise
Since October, the ADL has documented some 30 incidents quoting or referring to
Ye, the antisemitic entertainer and designer formerly known as Kanye West, whom Trump invited to Mar-a-Lago. Those include “vandalism, banner drops, targeted harassment, and campus propaganda distributions,” including at Florida Atlantic University. Ye has been banned again from Twitter, and should stay banned.
Media like Twitter and Facebook have been unable or unwilling to adequately monitor what is posted on their own pages. They can’t reasonably see everything before it goes out, but they should be responsible for taking down what is intended to incite hateful acts.
The lethal influence of antisocial media has been felt in tragic incidents around the world, from New York to New Zealand.
“I believed what I read online and acted out of hate,” said the 19-year-old who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket at a sentencing hearing last week.
New York Attorney General Letitia James made the same point in a detailed report on the shooting.
“Several online platforms played an undeniable role in this racist attack,” she said, “first by radicalizing the shooter as he consumed voluminous amounts of racist and violent content, helping him prepare for the attack, and finally allowing him to broadcast it … The anonymity offered by 4chan and platforms like it, and their refusal to moderate content in any meaningful way, ensures that these platforms continue to be breeding grounds for racist hate speech and radicalization.”
Social media, as private companies, are under misguided pressure from some rightwing politicians to allow even more latitude than they do.
The James report suggested a balance between free speech and responsibility.
Since buying Twitter, Elon Musk has decimated the platform’s content monitors. One of those let go was an algorithmic expert named Rumman Chowdhury. Writing in The Atlantic, she said she was hired to “help protect users, particularly people who already face broader discrimination, from algorithmic harm.
“But months into Musk’s takeover,” she wrote, “it seems no one is keeping watch.” The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Steve Bousquet, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Dan Sweeney and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Editorials are the opinion of the Board and written by one of its members or a designee. To contact us, email at email@example.com.