―危険な道具になりうるアイフォン―

The speed and ubiquity of mobile devices have changed the context of “hate speech” online, writes Peter Molnar.

最近になるまで、ネット上での人種差別的、及び他の憎悪感を掻き起すコメントは暴力を発動させる危険をそそのかさなかった。しかし、モバイル携帯を通じてすばやくネットへ接続できるようになり、現実は変わりつつある。偏見にかぶれてしまった人は、ネット上で思想的なガイダンスを受けることができるし、普段嫌悪感をもって扱われているグループや、脅迫的な敵として「自己防衛」の名のもとで襲われるグループに対する憎しみを掻き立てるウェブサイトで、実践的な指示を求めることさえできる。

わたしは、2008年にブダペストで行われたLGBTQ(ゲイ・レズビアン)パレードについて、以前こう執筆した。

「ネット上における、暴力を掻き立てる言動はそれが現実離れしていて同時的でなくても(しかしスマートフォンが普及すれば、必ずしもそうではなくなる)、デモにおけるヘイト・スピーチと合体すれば、暴力を引き起こす言論を罰する試験に不合格になる。ネット上の暴力をそそのかす言論は、現実のデモでのヘイト・スピーチよりもはるかに恐ろしいものなのだ。」

4年後の今日、すばやく増大する数の人の間でスマートフォンが普及し、より拡張する時空間を越えて繋がることが可能になった。暴力をそそのかす言動は必ずしも「現実離れしていて同時的でない」訳ではなくなった。それは、サッカー・スタジアムかパブの扇動的な雰囲気の中の真っただ中で起動しうるのだ。

2008年にブダペストで行われたLGBTQパレードに対する暴力行為に関して、わたしは以下のように記述した。

「近代のテクノロジーを、暴力的な手段として活用する例としてこの事件をみるのならば、我々が忘れてはならないのはルワンダの大虐殺中にラジオが猛烈に活用された事実だ。憎悪を掻き立てるほか、ラジオ・ステーションRadio-Télévision Libre des Milles Collines は被害者を突き止めるための情報を、止みなく報道した。」

スマートフォンの開発は、「ヘイト・スピーチ」のコンテキストを変貌させた。ネット上でのマイノリティに対するヘイト・スピーチは(たとえばロマ系ハンガリー人など)、昔ラジオを通じて報道された情報の速度で人々に伝達され、コンピューターの位置関係なく報道可能になった。

わたしが好捕したいのは、ネット上の言論の自由を制限する願望ではない。ネットは、解放された、強健的な、皆が参加可能な公共ディベートを可能にするテクノロジーだ。内容をもとにした言論の禁止は、人影を踏みにじるようなものだ。法的な禁止は切迫した危険をあおぐ言論のみに適応するべきだ。一般的な芸術活動と教育が、「ヘイト・スピーチ」に対する最も効果的な薬だ。芸術と教育こそが、公共ディベートを健康的に形づける力をもつ。人々の偏見、無知、誤解そして誤った思い込みを正すのが芸術と教育の役目だ。

ネット上では「ヘイト・スピーチ」を広めやすいという信念のもとで(それは「ヘイト・スピーチ」のみならずどのような内容も伝達してしまうのだ)、内容をもとにしたネット上の「ヘイト・スピーチ」のセンサーシップを繰り返し促進するより、ほかの方法を見つけよう。

まずは、現実的な危機を及ぼしうるネット上での人種差別的なスピーチが、いかに、ダイナミックに変化しつつあるテクノロジー技術に左右されるか再考しよう。例えば、現実世界で暴力行為が起こりうる場所で暴力を掻き立てるネット上のヘイト・スピーチについて考えよう。このようなシチュエーションにおいて、現実的な危機とオンライン発動の間に直接的なつながりがある。スマートフォンは、内容が非道徳的にもかかわらず立憲的に守られたスピーチと、現実的に危機を起こしうる扇動的な言論の間に一線を引いているようだ。

著者:ピーター・モルナー (Peter Molnar) は、The Content and Context of Hate Speech: Rethinking Regulation and Responses の共同編集者である。

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  1. Response to ‘When an iPhone can be dangerous’ by Peter Molnar

    We are two students who are currently looking into the language of Taboo and Hate Speech. When we stumbled across your article, When an iPhone can be dangerous we could not resist but to write a response.

    The arguments in the text primarily focuses on the negative aspects of technology, while the positive factors are neglected. What about the use of the iPhone that is actually beneficial to us? To call the emergency number (112/911) when in trouble, instead of having to scream your lungs off; to donate money through simply one text message, supporting various charity organizations and being able to make the world a better and healthier place?

    Technology is the effect, not the cause.

    People even argue that gadgets such as the iPhone is making us more organized.
    A calendar at our fingertips makes it easy to slip in appointments, reschedule or cancel and is able to notify you when you have an event scheduled. This makes it impossible for a lazy someone to ‘forget’ to do the dishes, vacuum or put dirty clothes in the damper. The iPhone simply answerers our request for bigger, faster and stronger.

    Your statement about the communication in the Rwandan Genocide, is in fact not merely the radio that was the primary issue of the destructive event but rather the past history that was the main cause of it. The technology indeed supported the genocide in the way that communicating propaganda and messages became simpler but the radio was only a small factor. The colonization of the Belgians and the following death of the Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, agitated its citizens and created a barrier between them. To be branded by one’s looks as an ‘either or’ object (Tutsi or Hutu) intensified the anger as time went on, especially since one side, the Tutsi, was seen as the ‘better’ by the Belgians.

    Technology can evoke hatred, but it has also brought out an entire revolution, the Arab Spring. Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, is the cause for this imminent and rapid change of events. Due to its simplicity and availability it is easy to bring thoughts and ideas to millions who might otherwise not be connected. Wael Ghonim chief and symbol of the revolution in Egypt states “This revolution started online. … We would post a video on Facebook that would be shared by 60,000 people on their walls within a few hours. I’ve always said that if you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet.”

    You also state “In such environments, incitement to hatred on the internet can create imminent danger with a direct causal connection between online incitement and clear and present danger”. What is imminent danger, and how would one measure it in this context? The sentence seems rather vague and hyperbolic. Also throughout the article, you move quickly from one strong example to another, but barely provide any counter examples for support; it leaves the reader confused and with examples that are simply floating around.

    Technology indeed has the capability to bring a person into danger, as well as being able to do the exact opposite. However, one ought not to forget that the use of the hand-held brain (the iPhone) has made our lives change into a whole other dimension.

    From the students in the American School of the Hague

  2. The Internet has become one of the largest sources of communication between people globally. Aside from the increasing communication, technology allows people to watch and receive global news at a faster speed and allows people to create websites and express their opinion freely on specific issues. Blogs and opinion articles have become increasingly popular and are easily accessible through technological devices such as smartphones and laptops. This exact platform can be used to excite hatred targeting a community, group of people or an issue.

    Take, for example, a harmless Tumblr blog that belongs to a teenage fan of the popular band One Direction. She publishes posts expressing her hatred towards the girlfriend of one of the members of the band. The fan claims that the girlfriend is fake and a scheme to hide the band member’s homosexuality. The blog has over 100,000 followers, which lead to a cult of fans freely posting confessions and opinions about the relationship. The blog has earned a lot of fame, and with more confidence than when she started, the owner of the blog now bids her followers to send twitter threats to the girlfriend. This is a small example, but has a huge impact on all the parties involved and carries a powerful message of how people use technology to spread opinions that lead to “hate speech,” or speech that specifically targets a person or group on basis of race, religion and sexual orientation. Such sites should be taken down, because the hate is directed towards one person or group, and can hurt someone badly. However, one could argue that everyone has a right to express ones opinion, but using a public platform to blatantly direct hate towards someone is wrong.

    Another popular characteristic that triggers hate speech is anonymity. As technology has developed, people now have the advantage of anonymously publishing posts. This gives them a sense of security to freely communicate and allow people to be involved with things like scandals for example. Anonymity has led to many new issues, one of the biggest being cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has become a phenomenon around the world and is becoming increasingly popular. Recently, a new site has emerged called Ask.fm, which was intentionally created to ask a specific person innocent questions anonymously. However, it quickly escalated to a vehicle that allows you to bash that specific person with hurtful statements rather than questions without that person knowing whom it is. An article in CNN claims that teenagers use apps such as Ask.Fm to change their identity and make cruel statements to other teens, and it has become a big source of cyberbullying. A recent case of a suicide by a teen due to hate from Ask.fm has sparked discussion about whether sites like these should be abolished. Sites, such as Ask.fm do hurt people, and people should not be allowed blatantly hate on someone using such means.

    Despite the fact that technology has greatly benefitted the lives of many, and given the ability to freely post on the Internet, gives us a sense of freedom, however people have misused this facility. Instead the Internet has become one of the biggest and most accessible sources for hate crimes against communities or groups of people.
    Ria and Marijne, ASH Grade 11, English IB SL Yr-1

  3. Unfortunately the greatest danger inherent to ubiquitous technology is not found in the user or their actions.

    It is the tool itself and the perceptions of the abilities of that tool that are the real dangers.

    While surfing the web on an iPhone you would be forgiven for believing that you are granted unfettered access to all areas. In reality what you are permitted to view is a carefully filtered selection of results relative to your location, political situation or any other relevant factor.

    The naive belief that a Google search result is based solely on the search criteria is again understandable as our perception of the tool would imply this logic. However many would be disturbed to discover that their queries were actually producing results relative to the user’s profile and history instead of relevant search criteria.

    This enables organisations such as Google and Apple to effectively control free expression of thought by diverting users to more profitable or preferable services such as YouTube or iTunes, all without the knowledge or consent of their users.

    PROOF – search the same Google query from both yours and a friends computer whilst logged in and logged out, observe the differences.

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