U.S. — As authorities try to prevent the next mass shooting, many are asking what can be done about hateful, extremist writings on the internet?
Online hate speech is described as a wildfire, easy to see but hard to contain.
Data scientist Rhys Leahy studies online hate speech-in particular how it spreads.
She compares controlling it to breaking a piece of glass.
“The big pieces, when you’re picking it up, those are like the big platforms, they’re easy to work with.” said Leahy. “The ones that are problematic are the little shards you may step on later.”
The president called on media companies and law enforcement to crack down on internet hate speech.
Free speech advocates, however, are saying not so fast.
Matthew Feeney with Cato institute says censorship by the government is a slippery slope.
“The vast majority of creepy weirdos don’t turn out to be mass shooters.” Feeney said. “I worry that the policing of the web will lead to overenforcement and false positives.”