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Announcements Google and EU now penalize sites for extremist content

Jo

Administrator
Master Penguin
Earlier 2017 Germany and the EU approved a new bill that lets them impose fines reaching €50M for failure to remove online hate crime, fake news, extremist content fast enough.

Germany's Cabinet has approved a new bill on curbing hate comments and fake news on social media.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet on Wednesday agreed on rules that would impose fines of up to 50 million euros (53.4 million dollars) on social networking sites that fail to swiftly remove illegal content, such as hate speech or defamatory "fake news."

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that companies offering such online platforms are responsible for removing hateful content.
ABC News

German justice minister calls for hefty fines to combat online hate speech
Online firms failing to delete criminal content could face tighter penalties in Germany. Proposed legislation by Justice Minister Heiko Maas would be a landmark ruling against internet hate speech in Europe.

News
German justice minister calls for hefty fines to combat online hate speech
Online firms failing to delete criminal content could face tighter penalties in Germany. Proposed legislation by Justice Minister Heiko Maas would be a landmark ruling against internet hate speech in Europe.

Ahead of Wednesday's decisive Cabinet meeting to tackle internet hate speech, Justice Minister Heiko Maas reiterated his warning that online companies failing to delete criminal content themselves could face financial punishments of up to 50 million euros ($53 million).

"We do not accept the fact that companies in Germany do not adhere to the law. Therefore in future, if it doesn't get better, we will impose high fines on these companies," the Social Democrat (SPD) told ARD breakfast show Morgenmagazin.
German justice minister calls for hefty fines to combat online hate speech | News | DW | 06.04.2017

Facebook must remove hate speech posts, Austrian court rules
More bad news for Facebook on the content front: An Austrian court has ruled the company must remove posts deemed to be hate speech, Reuters reports.

The case was brought last year by Austria’s Green party over what it argued were defamatory insults to its leader, Eva Glawischnig, posted to Facebook by a fake account.
But Reuters reports that the Green party intends to push for that by taking the case to the country’s highest court.

The party is also hoping to force Facebook to identify the holders of fake accounts, and to pay damages for hate speech being spread on its platform, arguing that the ability to win damages would make it easier for individuals to pursue legal action against the company, given the costs involved.
Last month politicians in Germany voted to back proposals for a law to hit social media firms with fines of up to €50 million if they fail to promptly remove illegal hate speech from their platforms — within 24 hours after a complaint has been made for “obviously criminal content”, and within seven days for other illegal content.

This month UK MPs also called for the government to consider a similar approach there, to try to enforce better standards of content moderation on social platform giants — with signs some US lawmakers might be thinking along similar lines too, vis-a-vis terrorism content.
Facebook must remove hate speech posts, Austrian court rules

Germany passes law with huge fines for Internet companies that don’t bar hate speech
German legislators want hate speech removed within 24 hours.

Germany has passed a law that creates tight deadlines in which social media websites must remove hate speech. These platforms now face massive fines if they don't comply.

Within 24 hours, websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube must remove postings of hate speech or other material that's "obviously illegal" under German law. If content has been flagged as offensive but isn't obviously illegal, it must be examined within seven days, according to a BBC report on the law.

Failure to comply could lead to fines that start at 5 million euros and range up to 50 million euros, or about $57 million.
Germany passes law with huge fines for Internet companies that don’t bar hate speech

Starting 2018, Germany started enforcing this law

Germany starts enforcing hate speech law
Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.

Sites that do not remove "obviously illegal" posts could face fines of up to 50m euro (£44.3m).

The law gives the networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking material.

Social networks and media sites with more than two million members will fall under the law's provisions.
Germany to enforce hate speech law

So how will this affect us?

Mid 2017, google added a tool for its users to flag 'offensive' search results

While flagging something doesn't directly affect the search results themselves, it's used to tweak the company's software so that better content ranks higher. This approach might, for instance, push down content that is inaccurate or has other questionable attributes, thereby giving prominence to trustworthy sources.
Google adds tool to flag 'offensive' search results

Demo:
FeaturedSnippet_update.gif


What should we do?

While I am not sure about how this will affect The Orange Room legally, however, it started to affect us SEO (google) wise.

Last week, I received tons of reports for "offensive" content through my google console and Adsense. This really hurts this forum.

Therefore, now more than ever I ask members to report any content that might have skipped the moderators' radar and moderators to stay vigilant as much as they can

Thanks
Jo
 
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spacecreature

Well-Known Member
Wow so the internet is officially dead? This virtual world was for many the only freedom left, where anything was possible, and now it is slowly disappearing...It's good we got to live its earlier days at least.

PS: Are we allowed to say we don't want the Palestinians to be naturalized in lebanon or is that considered a hate crime now? Im not sure how this will work out.
 

My Moria Moon

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
A question @Jo: Did the reports you mention that you received last week, detail the offensive/problematic content in question? What about the possibility for false alarms?
 

JustLeb

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
the problem is that what qualifies as hate speech ???
If I say "أنا بكره إسرائيل" would it be considered a hate speech ?? :D :D
 

Jo

Administrator
Master Penguin
PS: Are we allowed to say we don't want the Palestinians to be naturalized in lebanon or is that considered a hate crime now? Im not sure how this will work out.
Me 2.
I am not sure who defines what is a hate crime and/or extremist content.

A question @Jo: Did the reports you mention that you received last week, detail the offensive/problematic content in question? What about the possibility for false alarms?
Yes of course. Google tells me what content violates which rule.

Many did not make sense to me and I requested to review them, but none of my review requests came back positive.
I deleted some threads (like the American Values Thread created by the rebel @Indie) which Google found (and I quote) "Redirecting users to irrelevant and/or misleading web pages", others i did not delete because they are still active with a lot of content.

You might start seeing pages now with no to little advertising. Thats Google's way of punishing the Orange Room. In addition to lower ranking on search engines akid.
 

My Moria Moon

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Me 2.
I am not sure who defines what is a hate crime and/or extremist content.


Yes of course. Google tells me what content violates which rule.

Many did not make sense to me and I requested to review them, but none of my review requests came back positive.
I deleted some threads (like the American Values Thread created by the rebel @Indie) which Google found (and I quote) "Redirecting users to irrelevant and/or misleading web pages", others i did not delete because they are still active with a lot of content.

You might start seeing pages now with no to little advertising. Thats Google's way of punishing the Orange Room. In addition to lower ranking on search engines akid.

Waw.. That's cyber dictatorship at its worst. The Googlies appoint themselves prosecutors and judges of content and you are not presented a feedback nor given a fair chance to appeal their verdict.

Practically speaking this can turn into right out censorship. Google will end up deciding the content of this space.

I do know you have your particular considerations to take into account, but if you ask me, without them showing flexibility (and some humility) at least in being responsive to appeals, I'd give their reports a huge middle finger until they make their decisions transparent and/or have an impartial third party be the judge when disagreements on web contents occure.

wa lil 7ourriyati al 7amra2i baboun bi koulli yaden moudarrajaten youdaqou
 

JustLeb

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Me 2.
I am not sure who defines what is a hate crime and/or extremist content.


Yes of course. Google tells me what content violates which rule.

Many did not make sense to me and I requested to review them, but none of my review requests came back positive.
I deleted some threads (like the American Values Thread created by the rebel @Indie) which Google found (and I quote) "Redirecting users to irrelevant and/or misleading web pages", others i did not delete because they are still active with a lot of content.

You might start seeing pages now with no to little advertising. Thats Google's way of punishing the Orange Room. In addition to lower ranking on search engines akid.

Question. Do you rely on Google for referencing or for AdSense only ?
Do you get people referred to the forum from google search ?
If AdSense only I guess there are plenty of other providers... When I was in the business long long ago there were many companies providing ads services... I don't know how many of them survived but it is not a stupid idea to look for alternatives, so you don't be subject to Google will.
 

Jo

Administrator
Master Penguin
Waw.. That's cyber dictatorship at its worst. The Googlies appoint themselves prosecutors and judges of content and you are not presented a feedback nor given a fair chance to appeal their verdict.

Practically speaking this can turn into right out censorship. Google will end up deciding the content of this space.

I do know you have your particular considerations to take into account, but if you ask me, without them showing flexibility (and some humility) at least in being responsive to appeals, I'd give their reports a huge middle finger until they make their decisions transparent and/or have an impartial third party be the judge when disagreements on web contents occure.

wa lil 7ourriyati al 7amra2i baboun bi koulli yaden moudarrajaten youdaqou
Forums (including this site) usually get most of their traffic through Google because they are very rich in content.
This forum has more than 15 years of content. 50% of the Orange Room traffic comes from Google.

This is a bit new now and unknown to me, I do not know the extent of violations on the site's SEO. To put it in plain english here is what Google can do:

1. Remove ads from the site (which it started doing)
2. Push down the Orange Room in search results, which in result will make this site lose a big portion of its traffic.

Anyway, for now, i will wait and see as things are not very clear to me.
 
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Jo

Administrator
Master Penguin
Question. Do you rely on Google for referencing or for AdSense only ?
Do you get people referred to the forum from google search ?
If AdSense only I guess there are plenty of other providers... When I was in the business long long ago there were many companies providing ads services... I don't know how many of them survived but it is not a stupid idea to look for alternatives, so you don't be subject to Google will.
Adsense/Admob has more than 80% of the market.

As for your other question, yes of course. No website can survive without Google search.
 

Walidos

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
How do they decide if content is hate speech? People googling report the posts?
 

Walidos

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
I am not sure. Probably.

Wow! I would start by researching hate crime, maybe with a lawyer, to understand what constitutes a crime and what doesn’t. We should also understand if it is retrospective, as of posts from a certain date, the full history or as of now...

Good luck
 

HannaTheCrusader

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
the left and their PC nonsense, sorry well meaning thoughts

we have to have happy thoughts all the time

reminds me of a Johnny bravi episode where he met that evil, sorry great girl , that forces, sorry help people have happy thoughts only

i guess abusing trump is considered ok by google standard, so is attacking white privileges and asking for genocide against them and for sure attackjig christian faith, thats is the new norm
 

Jo

Administrator
Master Penguin
Wow! I would start by researching hate crime, maybe with a lawyer, to understand what constitutes a crime and what doesn’t. We should also understand if it is retrospective, as of posts from a certain date, the full history or as of now...

Good luck
I did ask a lawyer in the UK. Basically, if I do not operate in the EU, then I am fine legally speaking. (i could be wrong though)

What I am worried about is Google blocking content on the website but anyway, let's see. We should do our best to keep it clean.
 

JustLeb

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
I did ask a lawyer in the UK. Basically, if I do not operate in the EU, then I am fine legally speaking. (i could be wrong though)

What I am worried about is Google blocking content on the website but anyway, let's see. We should do our best to keep it clean.

Usually Google should not care about this unless it is forced by some legislation (ex the EU) . Since your site is hosted in the US (as I understood) it should not be a problem unless it violates the term of use there...
 

My Moria Moon

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Forums (including this site) usually get most of their traffic through Google because they are very rich in content.
This forum has more than 15 years of content. 60% of the Orange Room traffic comes from Google.

This is a bit new now and unknown to me, I do not know the extent of violations on the site's SEO. To put it in plain english here is what Google can do:

1. Remove ads from the site (which it started doing)
2. Push down the Orange Room in search results, which in result will make this site lose a big portion of its traffic.

Anyway, for now, i will wait and see as things are not very clear to me.

I understand. I see you have some delicate rope dancing ahead, because the question for you to decide upon remains:

If this new approach to web content censorship on Google part continues and escalates, where Googlies ultimately decide on their own, without giving you a fair chance to review the basis for their decision or appeal against it, what you should and should not publish, using indirect blackmail attempts where the punishment for not abiding by their decision is less ads and lower ranking, will you be obliged to bow to the attempt?
Will the site be able to retain its freedom to speak out freely (I am not talking about clear religious insults, racism, fascistoid or general BS posts)?

The example of @Indie's the American Values thread you mentioned speaks for itself, what a bunch of morons to ask you to remove it for "Redirecting users to irrelevant and/or misleading web pages". Did I just say they were morons? :lol: Is it so bad, I now had to think about what I just labeled the googlies?:p
 

Isabella

The queen of "Bazella"
Orange Room Supporter
I really don't understand the censorship here we're a lot milder as a community when compared to some parts of Reddit and even 4chan! We're also more heavily moderated already! This is some massive bullshit!

I mean hameed is a bloody angel when compared to some of the members posting on either of the above!
 
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