View from Away: Balancing free speech and responsible speech is tricky business for tech companies

 View from Away: Balancing free speech and responsible speech is tricky business for tech companies

Parler, which describes itself as an unbiased, free-speech alternative to larger platforms like Facebook and Twitter, was kicked off Apple’s app store and the Google Play store for a time following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Amazon also booted the company from its cloud-computing services, effectively shutting down Parler for a time.

These companies claimed that Parler was violating terms of service by not monitoring content that appeared on the site, some of which was hate-filled or inciting of violence. It was viewed as potentially contributory to the Capitol insurrection.

To make amends with Apple, Parler executives contracted with a content-moderating company that employs artificial intelligence as the first line in community policing. Posts that the algorithm identifies as “incitement” or that are deemed to be threatening violence or constituting hate speech will not appear for many users.

Despite the…

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