WordPress removes several alt-right blogs that spread Sandy Hook conspiracies

Image: Wordpress

WordPress has taken down several alt-right blogs, citing a new policy that bans blogs from the “malicious publication of unauthorized, identifying images of minors.” The change has led to the shutdown of several blogs that spread conspiracies about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, as spotted by TechCrunch.

Now alt-right bloggers and readers claim several sites have been removed, including conspiracies about Sandy Hook and 9/11. The timing of the move comes just after The New York Times reported on how WordPress was still allowing these bloggers to stay online.

Previously, that content was left up as it didn’t directly violate WordPress’ Terms of Service, which doesn’t state how to deal with false information on the platform. Even though the content was flagged as false, there had been no consequences, as WordPress’ ToS focuses on copyright issues and account security more than the integrity of content. Essentially, WordPress’ ToS is filled with loopholes for abusers to spread misinformation.

Parents of Sandy Hook victims had little choice but to use the copyright terms to try to sue WordPress into removing the images of their children. WordPress responded with what it later told the Times was a prewritten statement saying it could seek damages against the parents in response to the copyright complaints. At the time, the company maintained its position that the conspiracy posts were allowed.

WordPress’ stance is reminiscent of how other social media platforms are currently under fire for arbitrarily determining what policies to enforce and whether to police horrific misinformation or leave it standing. As these issues gain attention, many platforms are putting new measures in place to remove abusive content, but like WordPress, their initial legal groundwork could use more scrutiny.

Comments

Huge fan of how all these shitty platforms behave as if 1. the internet is not a real place that can’t affect anyone, and 2. their policies were sent down from on high and they have no control over them.

These blogs are doing real damage to real families. Some of the parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting are still being harassed to this day over it. As if losing a child wasn’t enough already. They’ve had to resort to relocating.

Can we stop using the term alt-right like it’s the bogeyman?

No, they are bad people and it is helpful to define them as such.

No, you didnt understand.

The alt-right isn’t a vaguely scary group of bad people. They are a group of white supremacists and literal Nazis.

If this story is about white supremacists Nazi bloggers, then call them white supremacists Nazi bloggers. It’s more descriptive.

The term alt-right shouldn’t be used to describe some vaguely bad people.

I agree completely. Call them what they are. Nazis and white supremacists.

Until they stop pushing harmful conspiracy theories like pizzagate and sandy hook trutherism, no?

As above, the alt-right is a group of white supremacists and literal Nazis.

If has nothing to do with conspiracy theories.

Alt-right is a politically correct version of the term Nazi, because the far right snow flakes didn’t like that mean word.

Let’s instead give up on this alt-right nonsense and just go back to calling them nazis.

Is this wordpress or wordpress.com?

This would be wordpress.com as there is no remote way for the company Automattic to remove a site from a server it has no control over and the software can be downloaded anonymously. Wordpress itself is open source/free software.

Why is the header image so shitty?

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