Microsoft’s president explains how the Gab shutdown notice went from customer support

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Thread: Microsoft’s president explains how the Gab shutdown notice went from customer support

  1. #1

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    Apr 2016
    Solano County, California

    Microsoft’s president explains how the Gab shutdown notice went from customer support

    Gab has been accused making rants that Microsoft did not approve of.

    In a wide-ranging interview on The Vergecast this week, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith expanded on why the company nearly shut down, the “free-speech” absolutist platform that’s become an alt-right favorite.

    Earlier this month, Microsoft sent a notice to Gab threatening to end the company’s Azure cloud service if it did not remove two anti-Semitic hate speech posts within 48 hours. The notice, which Gab said would cause the social network to “go down for weeks/months,” sent the social network’s operators into a frenzy. But Smith said Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, was asleep when the notice was sent.

    “Literally in that case, in all candor, somebody in our Azure support area in India had received an email from somebody who is in the consulting business who had heard from another company, expressing concerns about some content on,” Smith said.

    “While we were sleeping on the West Coast of the United States, an employee in India had sort of turned out an email that went to Gab that said, ‘We’ve spotted some content, and under our policy, you have to address it in 48 hours or you risk being cut off.’”

    Smith said executives reviewed the decision after being contacted by journalists, including The Verge. But ultimately, he said, there was little to review: it was “a relatively straightforward judgment call because the content was so extreme.”

    The posts, which advocated for genocidal violence against Jewish people, were removed by the poster before Microsoft’s takedown deadline. “Whoever made that call while we were sleeping made the right call,” Smith said.

    While the high-profile action against Gab generated a news cycle, Smith said his review of the moderation decision was an exception to the rule. “Our goal is to develop a set of principles. And so at a high-level, we work to understand these issues, develop a principled approach, stress-test the principles somewhat, and then empower people to apply them,” he said.

  2. #2
    And as I said in the other thread, the bad news is these violent threats are being confused with people having conservative political views. They are not the same thing.

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