Microsoft threatens to pull Gab services over anti-semitic posts | Fin24
 
  • Mboweni on State Capture

    The new finance minister has described state capture as a 'great public sector heist'

  • Kganyago on Populism

    The central bank head says SA must learn economic lessons from Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

  • Up in the Air

    Uber Air could see SA shoppers flying to malls via skyports, says a company executive.

Loading...

Microsoft threatens to pull Gab services over anti-semitic posts

Aug 10 2018 05:45
Spencer Soper and Joshua Brustein, Bloomberg

The Microsoft logo is seen on an exterior wall of a new Microsoft store inside the Prudential Centre mall, in Boston. (Steven Senne, AP, file)

Related Articles

Twitter shares plunge 17% as monthly users decline

Musk apologises to UK diver he labelled as paedophile

Twitter bans some white supremacists and other extremists

Twitter CEO pledges tougher rules on hate speech, violence

 

Microsoft threatened to suspend web-hosting services it provides to Gab.ai after getting a complaint about anti-Semitic posts on the social-media site, a new twist in the technology industry’s controversial crackdown on hate speech.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing division said it would take action in two business days if Gab didn’t remove two posts that prompted the complaint about "malicious activity," according to a post on Thursday by Gab.

"We have concluded that this content incites violence, is not protected by the First Amendment, and violates Microsoft Azure’s acceptable use policy," the software maker said. "Our policies rightly prohibit this type of content, and we expect Gab.ai to abide by these policies if it wishes to use our service. Gab.ai is of course free to choose otherwise and work with another cloud service provider or host this content itself."

If Gab chooses other providers, Microsoft said it will give the site "a reasonable amount of time, in this instance longer than 48 hours," to move content elsewhere before its access to Azure cloud services is terminated. Gab declined to comment beyond its public post.

The action Thursday shows how the tech industry’s efforts to tackle hate speech online is extending beyond big social-media services like Facebook and Google’s YouTube to cloud-computing companies that provide web-hosting services to smaller sites. Some of those smaller sites can gain traffic by welcoming users who have been kicked off larger platforms.

Gab was founded in the summer of 2016 by Andrew Torba, a conservative entrepreneur who had previously run a social-media marketing company. The site pitches itself as an alternative to Twitter, which has been trying to control extreme and offensive discourse on its service. A handful of high-profile right-wing Twitter users have established a presence on Gab.

Some of the content posted on the service led Apple and Google to refuse to distribute its smartphone app through their app stores. Torba has welcomed the mantle of oppressed outsider, saying that Gab’s main political conviction is the defense of free speech.

Facebook and YouTube on Monday suspended conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms after concluding some of his posts violated their policies. That followed similar action by Apple and Spotify Technology SA. The moves have ignited a debate about balancing free speech rights online with policies that discourage hateful and threatening content.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

Follow Fin24 on Twitter and Facebook. 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

microsoft  |  racism  |  social media
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 
 

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The Data Market Inquiry:

Previous results · Suggest a vote

Loading...