Beto O’Rourke: ‘Social Media’ Must Censor ‘Hate Speech’

The Associated Press
AP Photo/John Locher

Social media companies and Internet service providers must censor “hate speech,” said Democrat presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke on Wednesday while speaking with MSNBC. He linked President Donald Trump to “hate speech” — including descriptions of the president as a “racist” and “white supremacist” — in the same interview and subsequent statements.

O’Rourke tweeted on Thursday, “We must confront hate, no matter where it is or how high up it goes. That means calling out this president—but it also means ensuring social media companies no longer allow hate speech to be spread on their platforms.”

Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter must do more to censor “hate speech,” claimed O’Rourke. He suggested the passage of legislation towards this end, including mandates upon Internet service providers to remove access to sites:

Having leadership that speaks with pride about our community, about who we are as a country, including the immigrants who have made it so successful is far and away the most important thing we can do right now, but also ensuring that beyond the president’s conduct and behavior and rhetoric we do a better job of regulating and enforcing hate speech and calls to violence on social media platforms. Facebook — in particular, Mark Zuckerberg — needs to do a far better job in ensuring that that platform does not become a gathering place and a platform for launching these kinds of attacks. Internet service providers — hosts of 8chan and these message boards that are used for similar purposes — we need to do a far better job and I think that could come through new legislation, new regulations, and really vigorous enforcement, but I think it’s the president of the country that needs to set the tone.

O’Rourke’s call for expanding political censorship of online speech and expression — beyond social media and video-hosting sites — to include stripping of domain name service comes after Monday’s blacklisting of messaging and imageboard 8chan by web infrastructure company Cloudflare.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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