Viral fake news can be powerful: it may have influenced the U.S. presidential election, as many have suggested, and it can also be dangerous – inspiring violence by targeting another group. Fake news (and its possible influence on election results) has captured public attention for now, but platform administrators should not overlook the role of false rumors in Dangerous Speech around the world.
It seems inconceivable that a head of state would say he aspires to kill his own people on the same scale as Hitler, but the Philippines’ new president did just that. Three months into his six-year presidency, Rodrigo Duterte said he would be “happy” to “slaughter” three million drug addicts. He has also called President Obama a “son of a bitch” and even joked that he should have been “first” in the gang rape and murder of an Australian missionary in Davao City (where he was mayor for 22 years) in 1989.