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June 10, 2020

Chairman Thompson Leads Letter Urging Zuckerberg to Curb Dangerous Rhetoric Espoused by President Trump on Facebook

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Democrats on the Committee sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to follow the lead of other social media companies and take action against President Trump’s use of Facebook to push increasingly incendiary, violent, and abhorrent messages.

Over the past few weeks, the President has taken to social media to peddle a baseless conspiracy theory accusing a former member of Congress of murder and suggested that the National Guard would shoot looters during recent protests across our country. In light of this escalation of harassing and dangerous rhetoric, Twitter has taken bold, decisive actions to limit content intended to deceive, misinform, and glorify violence. In addition, Snapchat announced that it would stop promoting the President’s account on their discover page. Facebook though appears poised to take a different approach and continues to take a cavalier attitude towards this violent, racially charged content masquerading as political speech, which could have disastrous consequences for our democracy. 

“[I]n recent weeks, you have had the opportunity to receive informed, experienced advice of civil rights leaders and had the ear of the President, but you have failed to take responsibility to use your privilege to stand up for the people the President targets with his violent rhetoric,” the Members wrote. “There is a difference between being a platform that facilitates public discourse and one that peddles incendiary, race-baiting innuendo guised as political speech for profit.  Last week, your employees walked out to stand up against racism and in support of truth. You should decide which side you are on.

Link to Letter

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