Banning disruptive online groups is a game of Whac-a-Mole that web giants just won't win
By Andrea Baronchelli, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, City, University of London
From Washington DC to Wall Street, 2021 has already seen online groups causing major organised offline disruption. Some of it has been in violation of national laws, some in violation of internet platforms’ terms of service. When these groups are seen to cause societal harm, the solution from has been knee-jerk: to ban or “deplatform” those groups immediately, leaving them digitally “homeless”.
But the online world is a Pandora’s box of sites, apps, forums and message boards. Groups banned from Facebook migrated seamlessly to Parler, and from Parler, via encrypted messaging apps, to…
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- Monday, February 8, 2021