London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, wants Silicon Valley to start censoring what he has deemed “hate speech.”
Khan will be giving the keynote speech at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, where he plans to reference anti-hate speech laws like the ones in Germany, where tech companies can be fined 50 million euros for not regulating hate speech.
“We can’t assume that tech companies will find the solutions by themselves,” Sadiq Khan told the BBC, saying they should be “chivvied and cajoled to take action.”
Khan, who will share the messages he has received privately, said that hate speech could bully someone out of entering public life.
“If someone like me is receiving these sorts of messages in a public environment,” he said. “Imagine how you feel as a young person, if you’re somebody who’s putting your head above the parapet.”
“You’re going to think once, twice three times whether you want to do so,” he added. “For too long politicians and policy makers have allowed this revolution to take place around us and we’ve had our heads in the sand.”
Khan appreciates regulations put forth by Germany, where social media sites can now be fined if they do not immediately delete “hate speech” or “fake news” from their platforms.
According to HuffPo, “Germany’s controversial Network Enforcement Act, also known as the NetzDG law, requires any internet platform with more than 2 million users to implement a system for reporting and scrubbing potentially illicit content, including ‘threats of violence and slander.'”
Khan thinks the United States needs to go in that direction.
“Germany is an example of where the German government said ‘Enough. Unless you take down hate messages, unless you take down fake news, we will fine you,'” he told the BBC. “I want to work with the tech companies, but you have to be responsible.”
“President Trump has lots of followers and some of them have shown interest in me,” said Khan. “I’m a reluctant participant in any ‘verbal fisticuffs’ between the President of the USA and me. But I’ve got a responsibility as the Mayor of the most diverse city in the world to speak up for my residents.”