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Science and Technology Law

2011

Boston University School of Law

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Intermediaries And Hate Speech: Fostering Digital Citizenship For Our Information Age, Danielle K. Citron, Helen Norton Jul 2011

Intermediaries And Hate Speech: Fostering Digital Citizenship For Our Information Age, Danielle K. Citron, Helen Norton

Faculty Scholarship

No longer confined to isolated corners of the web, cyber hate now enjoys a major presence on popular social media sites. The Facebook group “Kill a Jew Day,” for instance, acquired thousands of friends within days of its formation, while YouTube has hosted videos with names like “How to Kill Beaners,” “Execute the Gays,” and “Murder Muslim Scum.” The mainstreaming of cyber hate has the troubling potential to shape public expectations of online discourse.

Internet intermediaries have the freedom and influence to seize this defining moment in cyber hate’s history. We believe that a thoughtful and nuanced intermediary-based approach ...