Sir Elton John has called for a boycott of social media platforms to pressure the companies into tackling homophobic hate speech online.
Speaking to the BBC, Elton said companies “haven’t done anything to try to stem the flow of hate on the internet.”
He said a boycott would make the social media giants “sit up” and take action.
“I don’t know why they allow it. It’s supposed to be free speech but the things that are on social media are so disgusting that there has to be action taken by the people who own these companies, that run these companies and say, ‘Enough’s enough, we’re spreading hate,'” he said.
“People say ‘well what about my freedom of speech?’ Well, sod your freedom of speech.
“Why not [boycott]? Then they’ll sit up. When the money is not coming in they’ll sit up.
“They can do so much good, but first, they have to clean house and become a much more moral and Christian-thinking in a way, or whatever… a moral thinking compass for what’s going on in the world.
“At the moment they’re not doing that… They can’t let it go on.”
Delivering the National AIDS Trust’s Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on HIV, Elton previously said, “Social media has become too often an arena that amplifies all our conflicts and builds walls between us.
“Prejudice we thought had disappeared has crawled out from under stones. People are using the privilege of anonymity to say things they would never say in person, or to boast about their privilege in ways we thought we left behind a century ago.
“We are in real danger of losing the essential element of human connection in our society… but with care and a new understanding of its potential, social media could be an engine of change. We can and should use hyperconnectiveness to help people to really help themselves.”
(Photo by Raph_PH/Flickr)