In the past year alone, the United States has endured mass shootings, acts of domestic terrorism, and the arrest of dozens of alleged domestic terrorists and their sympathizers. This violence is partially inspired by extremist incitement still pervasive on virtually every social media platform in addition to “how to” instructional videos uploaded onto major social media websites and so-called deep web “community chat rooms” which are safe havens for white nationalists, racists, and foreign terrorist organizations.
Mainstream media is chock full of references to new, dangerous white nationalist/anti-Semitic websites, including “4Chan” “Gab” “8Chan” “The Base,” let alone how terrorists (foreign and domestic) continue to hijack Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter and other major US and international social media platforms to promote hate and incite violence.
Americans are turning to corporate America and to Washington for answers.
Unfortunately, neither Congress nor the Trump Administration have risen to the challenge. Meanwhile, the violence escalates while social media companies promise, but fail to deliver, effective technological improvements to substantially reduce these threats to our safety and security.
Which begs the questions: Why aren’t major social media companies, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter doing more to prevent their sites from being hijacked by extremists? Why aren’t Congress and the Trump Administration demanding more verifiable accountability from Silicon Valley? Why aren’t American corporate digital advertisers – the financial oxygen sustaining Silicon Valley – holding these companies responsible for enabling corporate digital ads to appear on the most virulent content found on the internet? Can the operational infrastructure underpinning so-called “Dark Web” and “Deep Web” sites – hiding places for plotting and incitement — be held accountable for providing the web-based nuts and bolts?
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