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On this day in , a mining tradition dating back to ended: the use of canaries in coal mines to detect carbon monoxide and other toxic.
Table of contents

In , the United States Bureau of Mines tested a number of small animals to find out which reacted more quickly and most visibly when exposed to CO. Unfortunately for the yellow canary, it won out, followed closely by white mice, then chickens, dogs, pigeons, sparrows, guinea pigs and rabbits. Canaries were finally phased out in as new detection technology was developed.

England, the last country to use them, officially replaced the birds with electronic and featherless methane and CO monitors, by then more effective and precise than any living creature. Perhaps the single most critical decision in the development of a mining project is the determination of the size of the operation. How big will the mine and mill be?

What will be the daily and annual throughput? Hugh Taylor had an answer.

The team at Harte Gold is taking a staged approach to bring its Sugar Zone operation to full production. By Correy Baldwin. Dorsey and Twitter are most concerned about protecting expression and about not silencing people. In his mind, if he allows people to say whatever they want on his platform, he has succeeded. Again, Dorsey protects the freedom of speech and thus, the perpetrators of abuse before the victims of abuse. Twitter suspended 1, accounts related to ISIS whereas it suspended only seven accounts related to Nazis, white nationalism, and white supremacy, despite the accounts having more than seven times the followers, and tweeting 25 times more than the ISIS accounts.


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Twitter here made a moral judgment that the fewer, less active, and less influential ISIS accounts were somehow not welcome on their platform, whereas the prolific and burgeoning Nazi and white supremacy accounts were. Regardless of which it is I think I know , the outcome does not change the fact that white supremacy is running rampant on its platforms and many others.

White supremacy was baked into founding principles of the United States , the country where the majority of these platforms were founded and exist. Facebook attempted to educate its team on white supremacy in order to address how to regulate free speech. A laugh-cry excerpt:. White nationalism is a softened synonym for white supremacy so that racists-lite can feel more comfortable with their transition into hate. White nationalism a. So, Facebook should see white nationalist speech as exclusionary, and therefore a violation of their policies.

Regardless of what tech leaders like Dorsey or Facebook CEO Zuckerberg say or what mediocre and uninspired condolences they might offer, inaction is an action. Companies that use terms and conditions or acceptable use policies to defend their inaction around hate speech are enabling and perpetuating white supremacy. The message they use might be that they are protecting free speech, but hate speech is a form of free speech.

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The Story of the Real Canary in the Coal Mine

So effectively, they are protecting hate speech. Whether the motivation is fear losing loyal Nazi customers and their sympathizers or hate because their CEO is a white supremacist , it does not change the impact: Hate speech is tolerated, enabled, and amplified by way of their platforms. The way these features were used was never our intent. We cannot absolve ourselves of culpability merely because we failed to conceive such evil use cases when we built it.

What does canary in a coal mine mean?

While we very well might not have created these platforms with the explicit intent to help Nazis or imagined it would be used to spread their hate, the reality is that our platforms are being used in this way. As product creators, it is our responsibility to protect the safety of our users by stopping those that intend to or already cause them harm.

Canary In A Coalmine

Better yet, we ought to think of this before we build the platforms to prevent this in the first place. The foundations of hateful speech beyond the psychological trauma of it lead to events like Christchurch.

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This week, Slack banned 28 hate groups. What is most notable, to me, is that the groups did not break any parts of their Acceptable Use Policy. Slack issued a statement:. The use of Slack by hate groups runs counter to everything we believe in at Slack and is not welcome on our platform… 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.

It is not illegal for tech companies like Slack to ban groups from using their proprietary software because it is a private company that can regulate users if they do not align with their vision as a company. Slack simply decided that supporting the workplace collaboration of Nazis around efficient ways to evangelize white supremacy was probably not in line with their company directives around inclusion.

I imagine Slack also considered how their employees of color most ill-affected by white supremacy would feel working for a company that supported it, actively or not.

The Canary and the Coal Mine – The State of Public Health (Part 1)

What makes the Slack example so notable is that they acted swiftly and on their own accord. Slack chose the safety of all their users over the speech of some. When caught with their enablement of white supremacy, some companies will only budge under pressure from activist groups, users, and employees.

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