Human Rights First Calls on Social Media Companies to Invest in Anti-Extremism After Wray Testimony in Senate

Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen gave the following statement on the testimony given by FBI Director Christopher Wray today before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“Putting aside senators’ ridiculous false equivalencies between last summer’s demonstrations for Black lives and the anti-democratic insurrection at the Capitol, FBI Director Christopher Wray’s Senate testimony rightfully labeled social media a major catalyst in the Capitol attack of January 6.

“While the immediate danger to democracy has been averted, it’s clear that the forces of disinformation and conspiracy that drove the mob to attack the Capitol remain. Social media platforms have banned and suspended certain accounts, including former President Trump’s, but they must do far more to curtail the spread of extremism across our digital landscape.

“Human Rights First has developed tools to accurately detect extremist and explicit content, so we know that social media companies, flush with cash, can afford to better police their own platforms around hate speech and disinformation.

“These platforms have been able to manage their systems to protect users from posts from ISIS and from pornography. Surely they can check extremists on their platforms to protect democracy.”

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