World

London’s mayor Khan hopes Trump has ‘learned his lesson’ but should remain censored if he hasn’t

Khan is in favor of “hate speech” restrictions. “Hate speech” is an entirely subjective concept, a tool that the powerful use to silence the powerless. Khan also claims that he received racist abuse because of Trump’s criticism of him. Yet Khan harshly criticized Trump as well. Did Trump receive any racist abuse as a result? It wouldn’t matter if he did; the “hate speech” racket is entirely one-sided. Also, Khan has no actual proof whatsoever that anyone sent him an insulting message because of anything Trump said about him.

“‘Has Trump learned his lesson?’ Sadiq Khan urges big tech to stop hate speech,” by Kari Paul, Guardian, May 11, 2022:

From a stage in the heart of Silicon Valley, London mayor Sadiq Khan called on tech companies to rein in hate speech, speaking about his own experience of abuse amplified by one of the most powerful figures on social media.

He was referencing Donald Trump, who frequently used the mayor as an online punching bag, calling Khan “a stone-cold loser” and “very dumb”. Khan, whose family are from Pakistan, said the amount of racial abuse he received on social media increased by 2,000% under Trump and required him to receive police protection.

“The worst thing globalization has brought to social media is the proliferation of hate speech,” said Khan, speaking at Stanford University as part of his first visit to the US since the pandemic began.

Khan emphasized the power that companies have to act, saying that in the year after Twitter banned Trump over his role in inciting the attack at the US Capitol, he received “the least racial abuse of any time over five years”. Abuse directed at Khan declined by 75% in 2020, the year Trump lost the election, and a further 40% in 2021 after the ban from Twitter, according to statistics from London’s city hall.

The speech came just hours after Elon Musk, who is poised to take over Twitter, announced he would allow the former US president to return to the platform.

Khan stopped short of condemning Musk’s plans, saying he believes “passionately in freedom of speech” and trusts that those who lead Twitter will “make sure that you aren’t seeing messages that are inciting hatred, that are amplifying division”.

“The question is whether Donald Trump has learned his lesson,” Khan said. “Everybody should be entitled to be rehabilitated. And if it’s the case that Donald Trump is going to use Twitter in a responsible way, then it’s all well and good. But if he breaks the rules, there needs to be consequences.”

Musk has been vocal about his plans for Twitter after he revealed on 4 April he had become a majority stakeholder in the company and then rapidly negotiated a deal to buy the company for $44bn. He called the decision to ban Trump “morally bad” and “foolish in the extreme”.

Khan called on tech companies on Tuesday to “act rationally” and introduce new algorithmic measures to preemptively crack down on hate speech and misinformation. He called the current landscape “lawless”.

“On the one hand, social media, Facebook, Twitter – great,” he said. “On the other hand, [the abuse] is the consequence of a lack of control and lack of regulation.”…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button