Tell Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: Ban hate
The white supremacist who killed and injured dozens of people in El Paso, Texas over the weekend published his plans online. After the horrific event took place, users on 8chan, a far-right social media platform financially connected to Amazon, praised him for carrying out the terror attack. And it's not the first time.1,2
Platforms that empower violent extremists should not exist. So why are they still around? The inaction of tech companies plays a huge role.
Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram fan the far-right flames of white nationalism and Christian supremacy. By refusing to ban hate groups from their platforms, they are complicit in spreading Trump's violent, hate-soaked rhetoric.
Tell Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: Ban hate
It's important to remember that this is not an issue of free speech or difference in politics. When speech motivates violence, we must speak out. When hate groups use online platforms to incite violence, we must do everything we can to take their megaphone away and hold tech companies accountable.
The act of terrorism in El Paso is not an isolated event. It's just the latest in a series of lethal attacks led by radical white nationalists on immigrants, Muslims, Jews and other people Trump consistently demonizes and vilifies. Despite gruesome proof that Trump's racist rhetoric emboldens extremist hate groups and incites violence, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are still slow to regulate hate speech on their platforms. In fact, Facebook claimed to ban white nationalists and other hate groups, but many are still using the social media site to recruit new members.3 That needs to stop now.
Like Facebook, 8chan is a social media platform. Far-right extremists use it to gather online to plan out and boast about their attacks. Audiobook sales on Amazon by 8chan's owner Jim Watkins give him a "financial lifeline." That revenue helps Watkins run 8chan. That is unacceptable. Amazon has no business enabling a site that gives mass shooters and other racist extremists a megaphone and platform to organize.4
Just days after the El Paso massacre, Cloudflare dropped its service with 8chan.5 Even 8chan's founder wants the site shut down.6 Now we need to keep the pressure on Amazon to cut ties with 8chan and push other tech companies to stop supercharging hate. Forcing Big Tech to stop the spread of hate on their platforms will bring us one step closer to preventing white nationalist, Christian supremacist and far-right violence.
Add your name now to demand that Big Tech ban hate.
Thanks for taking action.
- Shirin Ghaffary, Rani Molla and Emily Stewart, "Here’s how Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and 8chan handle white supremacist content" Vox, Aug. 4, 2019.
- Julia Carrie Wong, "8chan: the far-right website linked to the rise in hate crimes" The Guardian, Aug. 4, 2019.
- Alex Boutillier, Jane Lytvynenko and Craig Silverman "White Nationalist Groups Banned By Facebook Are Still On The Platform" Buzzfeed News, May 30, 2019.
- Popular Information, "EXCLUSIVE: How money flows from Amazon to 8chan," May 13, 2019.
- Ian Sherr and Daniel Van Boom, "8chan is partially back after losing Cloudflare security in wake of El Paso massacre" CNET, Aug. 5, 2019.
- Kevin Roose, "8chan, Megaphone for Gunmen, Has Gone Dark. ‘Shut the Site Down,’ Says Its Creator." The New York Times, Aug. 4, 2019.