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Fri Aug 25, 2017, 08:57 AM


Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate


Btw, this is the story that caused trolls to attack our emails.

It's a good story. You should share it.

Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate

Most tech companies have policies against working with hate websites. Yet a ProPublica survey found that PayPal, Stripe, Newsmax and others help keep more than half of the most-visited extremist sites in business.

By Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Madeleine Varner and Lauren Kirchner, Aug. 19, 2017, 1:45 p.m.

Because of its “extreme hostility toward Muslims,” the website Jihadwatch.org is considered an active hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. The views of the site’s director, Robert Spencer, on Islam led the British Home Office to ban him from entering the country in 2013. ... But its designation as a hate site hasn’t stopped tech companies — including PayPal, Amazon and Newsmax — from maintaining partnerships with Jihad Watch that help to sustain it financially. PayPal facilitates donations to the site. Newsmax — the online news network run by President Donald Trump’s close friend Chris Ruddy — pays Jihad Watch in return for users clicking on its headlines. Until recently, Amazon allowed Jihad Watch to participate in a program that promised a cut of any book sales that the site generated. All three companies have policies that say they don’t do business with hate groups.

Jihad Watch is one of many sites that monetize their extremist views through relationships with technology companies. ProPublica surveyed the most visited websites of groups designated as extremist by either the SPLC or the Anti-Defamation League. We found that more than half of them — 39 out of 69 — made money from ads, donations or other revenue streams facilitated by technology companies. At least 10 tech companies played a role directly or indirectly in supporting these sites.

Traditionally, tech companies have justified such relationships by contending that it’s not their role to censor the Internet or to discourage legitimate political expression. Also, their management wasn’t necessarily aware that they were doing business with hate sites because tech services tend to be automated and based on algorithms tied to demographics.

In the wake of last week’s violent protest by alt-right groups in Charlottesville, more tech companies have disavowed relationships with extremist groups. During just the last week, six of the sites on our list were shut down. Even the web services company Cloudflare, which had long defended its laissez-faire approach to political expression, finally ended its relationship with the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer last week.

... https://www.propublica.org/article/leading-tech-companies-help-extremist-sites-monetize-hate

Update, Aug. 22, 2017:
The name of Taboola’s spokeswoman was removed at the company’s request.

Update, Aug. 19, 2017:
This story has been updated to include a comment from PayPal.

Update, Aug. 24, 2017:
This story has been updated to include actions taken by PayPal and Plasso to shut down services.

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Reply Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate (Original post)
Madam45for2923 Aug 2017 OP
Squinch Aug 2017 #1
Madam45for2923 Aug 2017 #2
Squinch Aug 2017 #3

Response to Madam45for2923 (Original post)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 09:06 AM

1. This is great, and the article had some real effect in shutting down hate sites. Doxing companies

should be as much a priority as doxing carefully identified individuals.

I'm unimpressed by the companies noted, though. Apparently they kicked off the groups identified in the article, but I would really like to see them instituting self-policing. THEY know when a new group signs on. It would not be hard to run new groups against the SPLC list of hate groups.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 09:39 AM

2. Seems like calling them out worked, so I guess we need more of that.


Yeah, a pain that the companies themselves did not see it themselves to avoid supporting hate and hate sites. Hope they get sued.

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Response to Madam45for2923 (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 25, 2017, 09:59 AM

3. Me too. Thanks for posting.

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