The battle against hate speech goes online
DOI link for The battle against hate speech goes online
The battle against hate speech goes online book
In the final part of this book, the focus shifts from law to politics. By 2020, an argument was gaining ground on the left that far-right and fascist speakers could be defeated by “deplatforming,” i.e. by petitioning social media companies to remove their platforms. Deplatforming really happened, this book acknowledges, but principally in a relationship to the upsurge of protest following Black Lives Matter. The central weakness of deplatforming is that it relies on the support of huge private businesses. But they had until 2019 resisted that demand, believing that the far right was a commercial opportunity. The book reminds readers of the profoundly undemocratic structure of these companies, and indeed of the law, which leaves issues of free speech in private space largely to the discretion of business owners.