Maajid Nawaz attacks social media firms' hypocrisy in censoring hate speech

28 June 2020, 14:28 | Updated: 28 June 2020, 14:29

By Seán Hickey

Social media platforms have a duty of unbiased enforcement of their rules, and must censor hate speech on either side of the political spectrum.

Companies such as Coca-Cola have dropped out of advertising on Facebook over concerns of freedom of speech and hate speech. Maajid Nawaz tackled the argument by accusing such companies as applying their terms and conditions inconsistently.

"My problem with them isn't that they're applying their terms and conditions on people" he said, "my problem is the inconsistent application."

Maajid pointed out that "in the name of multiculturalism and anti-racism that shouldn't mean that you've got a hate preacher that happen to be black and muslim on Twitter allowed to continue with their hatred while Katie Hopkins gets banned."

He addressed the disparity in enforcing terms on hate speech and asked listeners "how is anti-semitism any better when it comes from a black or brown person?"

He used the example of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the nation of Islam who has been a prominent holocaust denier and attacked Jews online in the past, yet hasn't been banned from Twitter.

Louis Farrakhan has been accused of hate speech, yet has a Twitter account
Louis Farrakhan has been accused of hate speech, yet has a Twitter account. Picture: PA

"My issue isn't with why have they banned Katie Hopkins, my issue is why have they not applied the same standards on their left." Maajid said, criticising an unequal approach to censorship on social media. He went on to criticise Twitter.

"You're censoring the President of the United States' tweets...but how are you not applying that same principle to the Foreign Minister of Iran who is actively funding anti-semitic terrorism around the world."

Maajid went on to attack how anti-semitism from black and brown communities are not held to account for their actions on these platforms. He noted that Twitter has not banned "Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini who is probably the world's most powerful anti-semite right now.

"Think about that, the world's most powerful anti-semite right now is the Supreme Leader of Iran...and yet he's got an account, but you're censoring Trump's tweets - I've never seen you censor his tweets."
Maajid concluded "this is not a free speech debate people, this is a hypocrisy debate."