Yesterday the team at Slack, a platform that helps businesses communicate and collaborate, removed 28 accounts because of their association with hate groups.
Slack’s blog post reads, “The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform. When we are made aware of an organization using Slack for illegal, harmful, or other prohibited purposes, we will investigate and take appropriate action and we are updating our terms of service to make that more explicit.”
This initiative by Slack comes when just a few days ago Slack messages got leaked by a non-profit media group, Unicorn Riot where members of Identity Evropa promote their racist views.
Big tech companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have been also working in the direction of removing hate speech and racist comments. Discord, the voice and text chat platform for gamers has also taken steps in this direction after thousands of private Discord chats getting leaked from Identity Evropa and the organizers of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally started doing rounds. The members from Identity Evropa are not considering Discord post the ban by the platform but are instead relying on Slack. A user named Matt told TPM, “Obviously, we won’t be coming back to Discord due to the widespread bans.”
In a statement to The Hill, Slack made it clear that their team did not discover the hate groups by looking through users’ groups or messages. In a statement to The Hill, a Slack spokesperson said, “We want to be clear that the privacy of our customer data is sacrosanct. In this case, we were informed of the possible use of Slack by hate groups and we were able to determine their affiliation on an organizational level.”
Few users are happy and feel relieved by this initiative by Slack.
Just another win for open source Slack alternatives like https://t.co/9QbeGq1HuM
Glad to be able to promote their software through your Twitter. Cheers.
— 𝕯𝖗 𝕯𝖆𝖓 ☣ (@PredativePulse) March 14, 2019
Few others are still skeptical about the platform and are wondering if there are more such hate group channels on the platform.
I wonder if antifa, an actual hate group, has slack accounts. You know people that actually assault and doxx people based on their beliefs. C R A Z Y I KNOW.
— Charlotte Stevens❤🇺🇸 (@Charlottealaine) March 14, 2019
Even activists have raised their voice on this issue. Shannon Coulter, an American marketing consultant, and activist tweeted about her concern about this issue. She has a bigger question to platforms like Facebook and YouTube regarding their content. Coulter wants that these platforms take certain action towards platforms that broadcast violent content. According to her, these companies are just focusing on generating revenue based on their real-time content but aren’t much concerned about the right practices and their impact on society.
Reporters, you would do us—the public—a very big solid by reaching out to your executive contacts @Facebook and @Google/@YouTube right now and asking them whether or not they plan to continue broadcasting the actual murder of human beings in real time and without any oversight.
— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) March 15, 2019
To know more about this news in detail, check out Slack’s official blog post.