Reps. Watson Coleman, Cleaver Send Letter to Twitter CEO

“Be proactive in seeking solutions to combat the racial animus being spread on your social networking platform”

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Washington, D.C., October 4, 2017 | Kirsten Allen - 202-225-5801 | comments

Yesterday, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) sent a letter to Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey expressing their concerns with the social networking platform’s role in ‘propagating hate and undermining democracy’ and company leadership’s inaction to address the gravity of these issues. The lawmakers called on the CEO to clearly outline how they will, in the future, combat the manipulation of the platform by domestic and foreign entities, citing a failure to do so will force increased oversight and regulation of the industry.

Full text of the letter can be found online. Additional excerpts are below:

Fanning the flames of racism & undermining Democracy

“While we acknowledge that Twitter can be a powerful tool to bring about positive information sharing, we are exceptionally concerned that Twitter is also being used as an avenue to spread racism and bigotry. As a result of the far-reaching nature of Twitter’s technology, we have seen an effort to undermine our democracy, create or fan flames of racial divisions, and spread hate speech that can ultimately cumulate into violence.”

Federal Oversight of the Industry

“..we are concerned that insufficient government oversight over your firm is inadvertently leading to deeper racial divisions and threats to our democracy. If Twitter continues to prove unable or hesitant to grasp the seriousness of this threat and combat the racialized climate that is being stimulated on your platforms, we, as Members of Congress, will be left with little option but to demand for increased regulations and government oversight of this industry to address these problems.”

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Kirsten Allen | Communications Director | Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman | Twelfth Distric
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