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UN: Companies ‘failing’ to address harm incited by online hate

States and companies are “failing” when it comes to combating online hate, the UN independent rights expert, David Kaye, on freedom of speech and expression said on Monday, ahead of the launch of a landmark report to reinforce legal standards for internet spaces. 

Kaye stressed the real dangers posed by a lack of consistent policy when it comes to monitoring and stamping out hate speech in the digital age.  

“The prevalence of online hate poses challenges to everyone, first and foremost the marginalized individuals who are its principal targets,” said Mr. Kaye, in the report presented to the UN General Assembly.

“Unfortunately, States and companies are failing to prevent ‘hate speech’ from becoming the next ‘fake news’, an ambiguous and politicized term subject to governmental abuse and company discretion.”

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