SXSW: Sadiq Khan shares the death threats that he received, asking tech companies to fight hatred, misinformation

London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, March 12, 2018.


London Mayor Sadiq Khan shared the death threats he received on Twitter during the South by Southwest festival (SXSW) keynote speech in which he called for technology companies and governments to protect citizens from incitement to hatred, misinformation, and the tech-driven negative consequences of globalization.

During a period of what Khan called “historic change and uncertainty,” the tech-sector as a whole should take a greater share of the responsibility for the curtailing of hate and extremism, the increase of the diversity within our own ranks and minimize the adverse effects of its products on communities.

“No company or industry would ever consider themselves above the local regulations or laws set by democratic processes,” Khan, who is London’s first Muslim mayor, told a packed auditorium in Austin, Texas.


Examples of tweets that Khan read aloud are:

Muslims have no dignity. I wish Sadiq Khan would just blow themselves up as they all do. He can take his 12 virgins.

I would pay for someone to perform Sadiq Khan, funnily enough.

The head office of Facebook is seen above in London.


Deportation of all muslims and make london white again, all the problems are gone

During a sit-down-the Huffington Post, Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen after the speech, Khan said he did not share the tweets to call attention to his own sexual harassment, though he called it “harrowing.”

Companies and users have a responsibility to not only show solidarity with the victims of bullying, but also to take action.

“We know that there is technology that exists algorithms that can be designed to spot these things,” said Khan. “This is not about depriving people of free speech, this is about hate speech, this is about the things that divide our communities.”

However, the technical and business-friendly British mayor took aim at governments and fellow progressives for not relieving the economic pain of the communities that are left behind by the globalization is achieved when a wave of nationalist populism continues to spread in Europe and the USA.

London-Mayor @SadiqKhan read the hateful, threatening and some Islamophobic tweets that he receives when he is called on social media companies need to do more to protect people online”

Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) March 13, 2018


“We have to train them to the skills for the jobs of tomorrow. We have to ensure that the traditional sectors they have to innovate and we have the training people, re-train people in the traditional sectors,” Khan said.

The London mayor also took a veiled to the Clinton’s brand of liberalism and against President Trump.

“This idea of triangulation, I think that was a mistake for progressives,” said Khan. “Instead of addressing the peoples be in fear, people are playing on them to win the elections.”

According to Khan, if you are unhappy about a lack of health or poor housing options, it is not the fault of the immigrants, but a failure of governments to invest in better care, affordable housing and better schools.

“We have to explain that in a good way. What have we done in the last 10 to 30 years is to assume that everyone would enjoy the fruits of globalization,” Khan told Polgreen.

A similar situation to what happened in America’s “Rust Belt” has been played in Great Britain, where many of the people who have voted to leave the European Union did so out of a deep sense of disappointment about the impact of globalization.

In terms of the tech sector, Khan said that he was hopeful that companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter will make the necessary adjustments moving forward.

“Unless they evolve and adapt and to take steps, then you should not be surprised when governments go the German route,” he added.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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