Twitter Must Come Clean on How it is Tackling Online Hate

Julie Inman Grant is Australia’s eSafety Commissioner. There is nothing new about hate speech or the ignorance and misguided perceptions of superiority that drive it.  Hate has been a weapon used for centuries to devastating effect, attacking people on the basis of race, belief or identity.  What is new is the proliferation of online channels by which hate can go viral.  Online invective can be launched like a ballistic missile, hitting its designated mark and disseminating its toxin to millions of people in an instant.  That said, one of the greatest gifts of social media is the voice it has given to those who previously had none, serving as a great leveller and allowing anyone to speak truth to power.  Due to the spontaneous, open and viral nature of Twitter, I once believed that no other platform held such promise of delivering true equality of thought and free expression.  On the back of the remarkable Arab Spring transformation, sometimes referred to in the Middle East as the “Twitter Revolution,” I was so convinced of the company’s potential for positive social change that I went to work there in 2014.  Fast forward to today, and I oversee the independent statutory agency charged with regulating platforms like Twitter to limit harm to Australians from adult cyber abuse, child cyberbullying, image-based abuse, and illegal content. eSafety serves as a safety net, protecting Australians from a range of online harms when the platforms fail to act. And Twitter does appear to be failing: failing…Twitter Must Come Clean on How it is Tackling Online Hate