College prez asks Congress to censor 'hate speech' on Facebook

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • A university president recently asked Congress to pass legislation that would require Facebook to censor postings that could be considered "hate speech."
  • President Seamus Carey made the ask in an essay for Inside Higher Ed, in which he discussed how an instance of online "hate speech" violated "the sacredness of our campus."
  • Transylvania University’s president recently asked Congress to enact legislation that would force Facebook to “remove” any postings of “hate speech” from its website.

    In an essay for Inside Higher Ed, President Seamus Carey argues in favor of increased government regulation of “hate speech,” a request spurred on by the recent   “harassment” of a DACA recipient at the university.

    "Facebook has ample resources to put protective measures in place to remove hate speech."   

    [RELATED: Law school drops debate sponsorship in fear of painful views]

    Paola Garcia was subjected to a stream of “abusive messages” from fellow students after her DACA status was revealed on Facebook, Carey explained, adding that the experience violated “the sacredness of our campus.”

    To prevent further instances of this kind, Carey argues that Facebook should be mandated to proactively prevent hate speech.

    Carey then cites a new law set to take effect in Germany, which will hold social media sites “accountable for removing and preventing hate speech” or face a $56 million fine, a measure Carey thinks “we should consider” in the United States.

    “Given the pace at which the U.S. Congress works, however, Zuckerberg and his colleagues have an obligation to monitor content before legislation requires them to do so,” Carey suggests, noting that Facebook has already started to hire content screeners.

    “It is not enough for Zuckerberg to say he is in the business of connecting people when communities like Transylvania can be torn apart by users of his platforms. Facebook has ample resources to put protective measures in place to remove hate speech and doesn’t need to wait,” he continues, urging other colleges to join in resisting hate speech.

    [RELATED: Cornell student gov demands ‘repercussions’ for ‘hate speech’]

    “We must provide the context that enables students to evaluate and resist derogatory language, even if it is given license by our president,” Carey concludes, referring to Donald Trump.

    Michele Sparks, Transylvania’s vice president for marketing and communications, declined to comment, saying that “the article speaks for itself.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen





    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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