Judgment on Quora

Case 50-2019: Quora & Adam D’Angelo

 

ETHICAL JUDGMENT

Dear Prosecutor, Public Defender, Ambassador and Jury Members of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR), regarding Case 50-2019 against “Quora & CEO Adam D’Angelo”, on June 9, 2019, it is hereby recorded that the trial has been concluded to analyze the violation of Human Rights and Buddhist Ethics made by the accused. This Case has been carried out as a consequence of the Deepak Rao Case.

After analyzing the presentation of the Case and the validation of the evidence, the Buddhist Committee proceeded with the voting of 5 members of the Jury, confirming that there were 5 votes considering “Quora & CEO Adam D’Angelo” as “Responsible” for the serious crimes of Defamation, Discrimination, Hate Speech and Violation of Human Rights, all of which has happened in the context of an Attack against the Rights of Buddhist Peoples.

The International Buddhist Ethics Committee has been able to prove that “Quora & CEO Adam D’Angelo” have committed crimes against the International Buddhist Sangha. In the first place, “Quora & CEO Adam D’Angelo” has spread insults, defamations and discrimination against Buddhism, all of which constitutes Hate Speech in the eyes of International Law. Indeed, the Quora team has refused to remove the cyber attacks carried out by Deepak Rao’s paramilitary group of India. This same kind of complicity both with cyberattacks as well as hate speech is being investigated by international justice regarding the Facebook Case, which shows that social network companies are real breeding grounds for human rights violations when there is freedom of expression without any kind of ethical supervision. In fact, Facebook Company itself has acknowledged that its lack of supervision over Hate Speech made by Myanmar has contributed to the genocide against the Rohingya People. This shows that Hate Speech does not constitute a minor crime, and that it must be totally prohibited and combated, as established by UNESCO with regard to freedom of expression in favor of war and violence.

Secondly, while these kind of social networking companies believe they are protected by a legal framework, the Buddhist Law establishes that “Quora & CEO Adam D’Angelo” are actually totally outside the law, disseminating Hate Speech against the Buddhist People. This kind of ethical and legal conclusion made by the Buddhist Law is based on the legal analysis of the Backpage Case, which was a powerful company in the United States with a website for publication of classified advertisements and services of all kinds, including a section with prostitution services. Yet the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children clearly stated that Backpage did not report all cases of sexual exploitation of minors that were advertised on its website, but even encouraged the dissemination of this crime, in addition that it did not remove these illegal contents, including when parents of abducted and sexually abused girls made complaints. Backpage stated that it was fighting against human trafficking, and organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation constantly defended Backpage and its controversial “freedom of expression”. For more than a decade, Backpage avoided multiple legal demands in which they were accused of promoting human trafficking, especially the sexual trafficking of minors, since different judges from the United States of America did not support the demands of the victims who were exploited and sold by means of this web page,[1] as is the case of Justice Michael Bowman, even though some victims were not only abused but also killed. This lack of solidarity toward the various victims of sex trafficking was due to the fact that Backpage claimed to be protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996, which establishes that providers of an interactive computer service shall not be treated as publishers or speakers of any information from another source, which implies that these companies would be only conduits for the speech of others. Therefore, technology companies believe that this mere section provides them full immunity to publish anything on the Internet, always using the excuse that they are not the authors of the content. However, if the content is criminal, as is the case of human rights violations, then companies should not only not to disseminate these contents, but should even combat them, not being protected under the right to freedom of expression, since a crime does not constitute a valid or legitimate expression and would not be found within the range protected by this human right. In this sense, after years of struggle against impunity, the victims managed to get Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage, arrested, who later declared himself responsible for money laundering and facilitation of prostitution. Thus, in April 2018, the Backpage website was finally closed by the FBI and the US Department of Justice. While the company initially stated that the actions of justice were an unconstitutional government censorship, the company was later found guilty of activities related to human trafficking, thus demonstrating the fundamental invalidity of quoting section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for the purpose of obtaining immunity for the dissemination of criminal practices. In fact, in 2018 the US Congress has approved a package of laws, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to fight online sex trafficking Act (FOSTA), which explicitly states that section 230 does not prohibit prosecution for international crimes such as sex trafficking or exploitation of minors to technological companies that provide computer services where users are the ones who commit the crimes. Obviously, this same logic used in the Backpage Case can be used in the Quora Case, stating that these companies are legally responsible and accomplices when they unscrupulously propagate the criminal activities of their users, as is the case of terrorist activities. Even, the Buddhist Law recalls that the companies already were legally responsible by the criminal activities of their users, which arises as a result of Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com LLC, where it was ruled that section 230 does not apply if an online service is involved in creating contents that violate Civil Law.

In conclusion, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee has the Purpose (Dharma) to protect the Buddhist cultural heritage of Great Master Gautama, developing ethics that meets at all times with the supreme Human Right to adequate freedom of expression. The Purpose (Dharma) of the Maitriyana movement is to protect the international Spiritual Community, ethically judging and sentencing those who commit international crimes against the Buddhist People. Following Master Gautama, who developed the most just and righteous International Community in the history of the world, the International Buddhist Ethics Committe supervises that the companies do not attempt against the ethics, the human rights and the Buddhist teachings, never attacking the Spiritual Communities (Sanghas), for which “Quora & CEO Adam D’Angelo” has been sentenced as Responsible for Defamation, Discrimination, Hate Speech, Violation of Human Rights and Attack on the Rights of Buddhist Peoples. For this reason, Quora is declared a criminal company, recommending the 500 million Buddhists around the world never to read this website promoting criminal, defamatory and discriminatory content.

With spirit of reconciliation (maitri),

Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha

Judge and President of International Buddhist Ethics Committee

[1] M.A. v. Village Voice Media, LLC – (2011),     Backpage.com v. McKenna, et al. — (2012), Backpage.com, LLC v. Cooper (2012), Backpage.com, LLC v. Hoffman et al. (2013),     Doe No. 1 v. Backpage.com, LLC (2015),  Backpage.com, LLC v. Dart — (2015).

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