This week Slack announced that it has removed more than two dozen accounts linked to known hate groups from its platform.
“The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform,” Slack said on its website.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have increasingly been used to spread bigoted ideologies and highlight violence that Slack wants no part of.
A survey from the Anti-Defamation League showed that 2018 was a record year for online hate and harassment. It seems that 2019 will not be reversing the course despite platform’s removal of such groups. The survey did not name Slack as an online location where users experienced hate speech — this could be because the platform is mostly used in professional environments where the behaviors would be punished externally.
Facebook has done mass removals of groups, ads, and pages associated with hate groups over the past few months. Following its policy updates stopping page administrators of removed pages from creating duplicates, Facebook deleted 22 pages associated with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, whose pages have been known to spread misinformation and incite violence.
Controlling and getting rid of hate groups has become a growing issue for social media platforms and other websites that exponentially spread misinformation. Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook have turned to policy updates to curb the impact of hate groups; however, these communities often quickly find ways to create new pages and profiles.
For Slack, hate groups are a fairly new issue. The platform has been more focused on building inclusive workspaces — it recently introduced plug-ins aimed at challenging users’ unconscious gender biases.
“Using Slack to encourage or incite hatred and violence against groups or individuals because of who they are is antithetical to our values and the very purpose of Slack,” the company said in its statement.
Here is Slack’s full statement:
Today we removed 28 accounts because of their clear affiliation with known hate groups. The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform. Slack is designed to help businesses communicate better and more collaboratively so people can do their best work. Using Slack to encourage or incite hatred and violence against groups or individuals because of who they are is antithetical to our values and the very purpose of Slack. When we are made aware of an organization using Slack for illegal, harmful, or other prohibited purposes, we will investigate and take appropriate action and we are updating our terms of service to make that more explicit.