When it comes to hate crimes, tech companies should be held responsible for violent rhetoric diffused on their sites, argues Jack McDevitt, director of the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern. But when it comes to spreading misinformation, exactly who is liable is less clear, says David Lazer, university distinguished professor of political science and computer and information sciences.
Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that labels conspiracies to commit hate crimes as lynchings, which would make them a federal crime if the measure is signed into law. Margaret Burnham, university distinguished professor of law, says the people charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery should be brought to justice accordingly.
Over the weekend, several white nationalist rallies in Virginia devolved into violence. How important is the language used after such events? And where are the boundaries between free speech and hate speech, or hate crimes and domestic terrorism? Three Northeastern faculty whose expertise encompasses constitutional law, hate crimes, and terrorism weighed in.