House Dems To Grill Tech Companies On White Nationalism, Hate Crimes

MARTY MELVILLE/AFP

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday on hate crimes and how social media has fueled the resurgence of white nationalism.

In a press releasing announcing the hearing, the committee said the hearing will examine “the impact white nationalist groups have on American communities” and what social media companies “can do to stem white nationalist propaganda and hate speech online.”

No participants are listed, but the Washington Post reported that Google and Facebook will testify.

A committee spokesman did not immediately return TPM’s inquiry about what other entities were asked to appear.

The hearing comes weeks after a white supremacist live-streamed his shooting rampage at a pair of New Zealand mosques that left 50 dead. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube struggled to stop copies of the video from spreading like wildfire on their platforms.

Facebook announced last week that it was prohibiting the promotion of white nationalism on its platform; those who search for terms associated with white supremacy will now be directed to a group founded by former extremists aimed at encouraging people to abandon hate groups.

In their press release, the House Judiciary Committee noted that Democratic lawmakers repeatedly pressed the Trump administration for information on this issue during the last Congress but received “little or no substantive response.” Now that they control the House, they’re free to hold hearings on the topic.

In the wake of the New Zealand tragedy, President Trump denied that white nationalism was a growing problem, saying only a “small group of people that have very, very serious problems” hold these beliefs.

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