Main | Friday, February 23, 2007

Kill Batty Man

Google is hosting a Jamaica-based blog, Kill Batty Man, that advocates the murder of all gay people, naming the names of those to be killed. The top post on Kill Batty Man today is a gleeful photo essay of last week's attack by a violent Kingston mob on three men presumed to be gay. Other posts rail against the incursion of American "batty-culture" into Jamaican media and advertising, noting that while anti-gay violence will "hurt Jamaica" economically, it's still a "good thing".

Kill Batty Man has been running for almost a year, with only a few posts each month, and has only now caused an outcry in the UK. In response, Google has said: "The blogger team will investigate and if it is found to violate our terms and conditions or is illegal we will take appropriate action." Yet, the blog remains.

Can this possibly fall under freedom of speech? Google appears to think so. However, inciting to murder is a crime just about everywhere. There are thousands of hate sites on the net and finding one on Google is disappointing. If you'd like Google to remove Kill Batty Man, you can flag the blog as inappropriate (in the top right corner), or you can email Google to complain at:

UPDATE: Thanks to complaints, Google has now placed a splash page over Kill Batty Man, with a caution to those wishing to proceed to the blog. According to Google TOS: Special Case for Hate Speech: When the community has voted and hate speech is identified on Blog*Spot, Google may exercise its right to place a Content Warning page in front of the blog and set it to "unlisted." At first, I thought this seemed like a fair compromise. Kill Batty Man is now an "unlisted" number. But as Helen points out in the comments below, Google TOS also stipulates that advocating illegal activity (such as killing queers) is grounds for deletion.

UPDATE II: There's an interesting discussion on the topic on Monkey Clubhouse.

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