Tell Twitter: Take Action to Ban White Supremacists Before Even More People Get Harassed, Hurt or Worse
Twitter made headlines this week when it announced that it will be banning all political ads as we head into the 2020 election.1 It was an obvious response to Facebook’s refusal to fact check political ads — and an attempt to win goodwill in an age where elite executives at social-media platforms are conveniently confused about how their companies should behave in a democracy.
But here’s something that couldn’t be more straightforward: Twitter is still providing a microphone and platform to prominent white supremacists and is refusing to ban them.
Twitter has emboldened white supremacists and allowed them to organize hateful real-world events and publicize their acts of violence. The company’s inaction is endangering people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, LGBTQIA+ people and women, who are all common targets of organized online hate.
The company’s announcement that it will ban all political ads seems haphazard at best. We still don’t know if our organization’s ads will be banned or if this is just directed at political candidates.
Meanwhile, we’ve worked for years in coalition with national organizations that have a track record of fighting hate online and we’ve worked together to create policies tech companies can adopt to stop the flow of hate.2 So far Twitter has failed to step up to the plate, but it could start with, for example, kicking former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke off the platform.
Tell Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that if he wants to ban something on Twitter, he should start with white supremacists.
1. “Civil Rights Coalition Says Twitter Political Ad Ban Not Enough: Tech Giants Must Curb Hate in Paid and Unpaid Posts,” Medium, Oct. 30, 2019
2. Change the Terms: Reducing Hate Online