Trump Hosting Hateful Extremists at White House Social Media Summit is Despicable, says Change the Terms

Today, President Trump is hosting extremists, conspiracy theorists, and bigots at the White House for a propaganda summit on social media, to pressure technology companies to allow purveyors of hate on their platforms — contrary to both established user agreements prohibiting such content and to the Change the Terms coalition’s call for online platforms to disrupt hateful activities on their sites.

Expected attendees include Charlie Kirk, of Turning Point USA, with a long history of involvement in racist incidents; Brent Bozell of Media Research Center, that promoted white nationalist pieces claiming Black people are “a threat to all”; and Alexander “Ali” Akbar who tweeted about an upcoming “civil war in America” and called for people to buy guns and ammo.

Read the Media Matters brief on summit attendees here: https://bit.ly/2XBhFzV

Said Jessica J. González, Vice President of Free Press and Change the Terms member:

“Today President Trump is rolling out the red carpet for bigots and purveyors of hate to pressure social media companies to allow white supremacists and other hate mongers on their platforms. Words cannot convey how gross and despicable it is for the White House to further elevate sources of hateful content online. This spectacle, a parade of online trolls, will no doubt inflame and legitimize others to engage in hateful activities online. There is no question that hateful content online has tragically spilled over into real life violence: too many lives have been taken and countless more are threatened. Public safety demands that the White House encourage the progress of technology companies toward making their content moderation consistent and enforcement stronger to protect users from intimidation, harassment, threats and violence — not mourning it and creating new obstacles.

“The claim of anti-conservative bias on social media platforms is pure fiction perpetuated by right-wing political operatives. Transparency, coupled with a robust appeals process, is the best proactive policy and the best defense against politicized criticism of content moderation of hateful activities online. We need leaders at internet companies to be on the right side of history, and take threats to our lives seriously with efficient, consistent and transparent policies to reduce hate online. And we need government actors who resist the urge to interfere with content moderation for the public good.”

Change the Terms’ model corporate policies, including specific provisions on defining hateful activity, monitoring and enforcing these terms, and can be found here: https://www.changetheterms.org/terms.

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Change the Terms is a coalition calling on technology companies to institute and enforce service agreement prohibitions on hateful activities to protect public safety and respect diverse voices. The coalition includes more than 50 civil rights, human rights, technology policy and consumer protection organizations dedicated to encouraging internet companies, social media sites, payment processors and chat services to commit to fair, effective and transparent rules and practices for content moderation.

Change the Terms Coalition

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We believe that tech companies need to do more to combat hateful conduct on their platforms.