Last Updated on May 8, 2020
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres shared his thoughts on social media censorship and free speech on Friday, suggesting that all content he doesn’t like should be unilaterally removed as part of “an all-out effort to end hate speech globally.”
In a bizarre tirade that tackled subjects such as memes that poke fun at the elderly, “ethno-nationalism,” and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” Guterres argued that the COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering.”
Guterres listed several negative side effects of the virus and ensuing lockdown, such as “disproportionate effects on certain communities, the rise of hate speech, the targeting of vulnerable groups.”
The secretary general made the claim that foreign migrants “have been vilified as a source of the virus, and then denied access to medical treatment,” adding, “anti-foreigner sentiment has surged online and in the streets, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have spread, and COVID-19-related anti-Muslim attacks have occurred.”
Guterres then moved on to the topic of “contemptible” internet memes: “With older persons among the most vulnerable, contemptible memes have emerged suggesting they are also the most expendable. And journalists, whistleblowers, health professionals, aid workers and human rights defenders are being targeted simply for doing their jobs.”
Guterres demanded that social media “remove racist, misogynist and other harmful content,” and called on schools to install “digital literacy” programs in their curriculum.
“Extremists are seeking to prey on captive and potentially despairing audiences,” the secretary-general announced. The solution, according to Guterres, should be an “all-out effort to end hate speech globally.”
In related censorship news, Facebook appointed a left-wing professor who negatively referenced the President’s son to its content review “Supreme Court,” which will tell Facebook what posts should be removed from the platform:
This week, Facebook released the list of 20 people who will serve on its Oversight Board and decide what memes and news articles should be removed for breaking Facebook’s “Community Guidelines” on hate speech and misinformation.
Amongst the various controversial personalities on the list, which includes journalists, professors, activists, and former government officials including an ex-director general of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, is left-wing activist professor Pamela Karlan.
Karlan, who describes herself as a “snarky, bisexual Jewish woman,” previously made headlines last December when she brought up up President Donald Trump’s son Barron as a punchline during the failed impeachment hearings.
The Stanford Law professor infamously went on a tirade about “straight, white, sons of the patriarchy” during a speech at the 2006 American Constitutional Society convention, stating, “we have more reason than they do to love America. The rich, pampered, prodigal, sanctimonious, incurious, white, straight sons of the powerful do pretty well everywhere in the world, and they always have.”
Karlan added, “But what about us? Snarky, bisexual, Jewish women who want the freedom to say what we think, read what we want, and love who we do.”
Facebook has previously stated that it will follow all recommendations of the “Supreme Court” Oversight Board as long as those recommendations are not “illegal.”