Sir Elton John has no tolerance for homophobia, and now the legend has blamed social media for allowing hate speech to slide on their platforms. In an interview with BBC News on Friday (June 8), John said that major social media companies “haven’t done anything to try to stem the flow of hate on the internet,” and proposed that a boycott could make them 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… People say, ‘well, what about my freedom of speech?’ Well, sod your freedom of speech,” he said.
John explained that a boycott — thus, lack of revenue — would make social media giants “sit up” and take a stance against homophobic hate speech on their platforms.
The interview followed shortly after John giving the Diana, Princess of Wales lecture on HIV, where he also demanded social media companies take more aggressive action.
“Companies like Facebook and Instagram cannot pretend they are purely private enterprises. I believe they have a public role and responsibility,” he said. “But if we found ways to automatically respond to hatred with fact, good could be all the way around the world before falsehood even got its boots on.”
Watch John’s interview below.