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Twitter and Facebook are giant social media companies. They are very popular around the world. They have had problems with hate speech recently. They have not wanted to do anything to stop the hate speech. This has caused many people to be angry with them.

Twitter and Facebook have now started to take action against hate speech. It started in May when Twitter hid a tweet from US President Trump. The tweet was hidden for “glorifying violence“. This started lots of arguments between Trump and Twitter. In the beginning, Facebook did not do anything.  Many people were angry with Facebook because they did nothing. Now, Facebook has started to do similar things. They recently removed a Trump ad because it used a Nazi hate symbol.

The actions haven’t only been against President Trump. Many people have been banned for hate speech. Many people think some people had not been banned before because they were famous. Even famous people have now been getting banned.

Difficult words

Social Media (n): A website where people can talk and share their lives.

Speech (n): The words that people say.

Glorify (v): To make something look great or good.

Violence (n): Hurting someone or something’s body.

Argument (n): To fight with words.

Nazi (n): A person who is part of a German group who did not like people because of the colour of their skin or their religious views.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: Coming Soon!

Match the Synonym!

 1. Social Media  A. Words
 2. Speech  B. Hurt others.
 3. Glorify  C. Website for talking.
 4. Violence  D. Fight with words.
 5. Argument  E. Make look good.

True or False?

1. Social media companies are very popular. T / F

2. Hate speech has not been a problem online. T / F

3. Many people are angry at Twitter and Facebook. T / F

4. Twitter hid President Trump’s tweet. T / F

5. Famous people have not been getting banned. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. very / the / popular / around / world / They / are

2. many / This / to / has caused / people / be angry

3. lots / of / started / This / arguments

4. Facebook / angry / Many / with / were / people

5. banned / people / been / Many / have

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: Coming Soon!

Famous Beginning Giant
Banned Against Speech

Twitter and Facebook are (1)_______ social media companies. They are very popular around the world. They have had problems with hate speech recently. They have not wanted to do anything to stop the hate (2)___________. This has caused many people to be angry with them.

Twitter and Facebook have now started to take action (3)___________ hate speech. It started in May when Twitter hid a tweet from US President Trump. The tweet was hidden for “glorifying violence“. This started lots of arguments between Trump and Twitter. In the (4)_____________, Facebook did not do anything.  Many people were angry with Facebook because they did nothing. Now, Facebook has started to do similar things. They recently removed a Trump ad because it used a Nazi hate symbol.

The actions haven’t only been against President Trump. Many people have been (5)___________ for hate speech. Many people think some people had not been banned before because they were famous. Even (6)____________ people have now been getting banned.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Do you use Twitter or Facebook?
5. Is it a website’s responsibility to stop hate speech on their own platform?
6. Was it right for Twitter to hide the President’s tweet?
7. Have you ever noticed hate speech online?
8. Do you think the internet should have freedom of speech?
9. Have you ever been blocked from a website?
10. Do politicians in your country often use social media?
11. Do you regularly follow what politicians say online?
12. Should websites be fact-checking posts from famous people?
13. Should presidents receive special treatment for what they post?
14. Does your country have freedom of speech on and offline?
15. Do people fact-check what politicians say in your country?
16. Is fake news a problem in your country?
17. Should racist symbols or messages be allowed on the internet without warning messages?
18. Were Facebook employees right to refuse to work when they didn’t agree with Mark Zuckerberg’s actions?
19. Is it important for you to trust what you read online?
20. Is it important for websites to strictly enforce their terms of service?