Posted in HWH COMMENTARY, NEWS OF INTEREST

RE: Trump says he’ll issue order protecting campus free speech

By KEVIN FREKING

3.2.2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Saturday he would soon sign an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal resources.

Trump is highlighting concerns from some conservatives that their voices were being censored, whether on social media or at the nation’s universities. He did not go into more detail about what the order would say, but his comments immediately drew scrutiny from those who noted that public research universities already have a constitutional obligation to protect free speech.

“An executive order is unnecessary as public research universities are already bound by the First Amendment, which they deeply respect and honor,” said Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “It is core to their academic mission.”

Trump invited Hayden Williams to join him Saturday while he addressed activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference. Williams was punched Feb. 19 while on the campus of University of California, Berkeley. He was recruiting for the conservative group Talking Points USA.Two men approached and one punched him during a confrontation captured on student cellphones. University of California, Berkeley police arrested a suspect, Zachary Greenberg, on Friday.Williams, who had a black eye, told Fox News that the men objected to a sign that said “Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims.”

Neither Williams nor Greenberg are affiliated with UC Berkeley.Trump told the audience Saturday that Williams “took a hard punch in the face for all of us.” Meanwhile, Williams said many conservative students face “discrimination, harassment or worse if they dare speak up on campus.”

Trump offered no details about what the executive order might say about what has become a thorny issue on college campuses…

FINISH READINGTrump says he’ll issue order protecting campus free speech


 

HWH COMMENT: It’s unfortunate that one would need to use an Executive Order to establish and maintain a climate of free speech in any institution in the USA. But that’s an example of how the Constitution is being trampled on by those who can’t and won’t tolerate opposing views. It happens all over social media. People are not only abused and intimidated but the perpetrators are encouraged by Facebook employees by turning a blind eye to offenders and in many cases Facebook employees are the perpetrators of hateful actions toward the people whose opinions they disagree with.

It appears that the very people who preach tolerance to everybody else are the most intolerant of everybody else’s views, unless they’re the same as theirs.

If they even suspect that someone is a Trump supporter or a supporter of any of his policies, the target gets brutally threatened, verbally assaulted and gutted by Facebook trolls. Facebook knows who these trolls are and lets them operate with impunity, siding with the bullies and the deniers of free speech, while punishing the victims with threats of hate crime prosecution when they defend themselves against the perpetrators.

When Facebook calls your response hate speech, which is a hate crime, that implies prosecutorial action, which suggests that Facebook is impersonating law enforcement to silence opposing views. Facebook should not have a view. It is not the place of Facebook computer programmers and workers to be punishing anybody for their political and social views – or any views – on anything.






 

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Posted in FACEBOOK, HWH COMMENTARY, MEDIA

Exclusive: Google, Facebook quietly move toward automatic blocking of extremist videos

Some of the web’s biggest destinations for watching videos have quietly started using automation to remove extremist content from their sites, according to two people familiar with the process.

The move is a major step forward for internet companies that are eager to eradicate violent propaganda from their sites and are under pressure to do so from governments around the world as attacks by extremists proliferate, from Syria to Belgium and the United States.

YouTube and Facebook are among the sites deploying systems to block or rapidly take down Islamic State videos and other similar material, the sources said.

The technology was originally developed to identify and remove copyright-protected content on video sites. It looks for “hashes,” a type of unique digital fingerprint that internet companies automatically assign to specific videos, allowing all content with matching fingerprints to be removed rapidly.

Such a system would catch attempts to repost content already identified as unacceptable, but would not automatically block videos that have not been seen before.

The companies would not confirm that they are using the method or talk about how it might be employed, but numerous people familiar with the technology said that posted videos could be checked against a database of banned content to identify new postings of, say, a beheading or a lecture inciting violence.

The two sources would not discuss how much human work goes into reviewing videos identified as matches or near-matches by the technology. They also would not say how videos in the databases were initially identified as extremist.

Use of the new technology is likely to be refined over time as internet companies continue to discuss the issue internally and with competitors and other interested parties.

In late April, amid pressure from U.S. President Barack Obama and other U.S. and European leaders concerned about online radicalization, internet companies including Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Twitter Inc, Facebook Inc and CloudFlare held a call to discuss options, including a content-blocking system put forward by the private Counter Extremism Project, according to one person on the call and three who were briefed on what was discussed.

The discussions underscored the central but difficult role some of the world’s most influential companies now play in addressing issues such as terrorism, free speech and the lines between government and corporate authority.

None of the companies at this point has embraced the anti-extremist group’s system, and they have typically been wary of outside intervention in how their sites should be policed.

“It’s a little bit different than copyright or child pornography, where things are very clearly illegal,” said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.

Extremist content exists on a spectrum, Hughes said, and different web companies draw the line in different places…

Finish reading: Exclusive: Google, Facebook quietly move toward automatic blocking of extremist videos

HWH Comment: I wonder how this will affect the animal rights movement’s use of animal abuse videos as educational tools to raise the consciousness of the populace?

There will definitely be abuse of our freedom of speech rights.

Just a few nights ago I was blocked three times from responding critically to three different posts. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the block was very real, and very scary – that somebody could do that, and now to discover that it was Facebook. Whoa. That needs to be looked at. This had nothing to do with terrorists.