Kathy Hochul, the Democratic governor of New York, admitted earlier this week that her state’s government would be monitoring activity on social media for any “hate speech” so that they could catch “incitement to violence.”
The Daily Caller reported recently that Hochul met with leaders of the local Jewish community as well as law enforcement agents regarding the rise in anti-Semitism that’s happened after the terrorist organization Hamas attacked Israel in early October.
Following that meeting, she said:
“It’s painful to me as the governor of this great state – that has been known for its diversity, and how we celebrate different cultures, different religions, different viewpoints – it’s painful to see the cruelty with which New Yorkers are treating each other … Everywhere from college campuses to our streets to schools to playgrounds; even as they’re entering their houses of worship.”
As part of her announcement, Hochul said that the state would be doling out an additional $75 million in funding to combat hate. That includes $25 million that will go toward security grants as well as $50 million that will go to local law enforcement agencies to help them increase their plans to combat the hate.
Those initiatives aren’t very alarming, but one piece of information she said could be to some. During her talk, Hochul added:
“We’re very focused on the data we’re collecting from surveillance efforts – what’s being said on social media platforms. And we have launched an effort to be able to counter some of the negativity and reach out to people when we see hate speech being spoken about on online platforms.”
Many government agencies have started to turn to policing activity on social media as a way to prevent dangerous extremists from inspiring others to commit acts of violence. While those efforts are certainly noble, they don’t often get carried out in the best ways.
Critics of such programs have argued for a while now that the government agencies just use this as an excuse to suppress information and facts that aren’t hateful at all but might be against what the people at the government agencies agree with.
This includes things such as transgenderism, abortion, environmentalism and COVID-19.
Life Site News emphasized in a recent report that some people have characterized the government of New York under Hochul as being very hostile toward civil liberties, which only underscores concerns of a social media surveillance program like the one she just announced.
The media outlet reported that the Hochul administration was trying to uphold quarantining procedures for COVID-19 as recently as March of this year, which was long after just about every state in the nation had abandoned their pandemic-era restrictions on life.
A federal judge back in February actually blocked a Hateful Conduct Law that was passed in New York.
That law concerns “the use of a social media network to vilify, humiliate or incite violence against a group or a class of persons on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
It requires that all social media companies must “maintain mechanisms for reporting” that material.
The law is pending in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals currently.