Over the course of only eight days, white-supremacist violence killed dozens of people in tragic mass shootings in communities including Gilroy, California, and El Paso, Texas. Of course, these aren’t the first communities to have mass murder visited upon their doorsteps by white supremacists — nor will they be the last.
As Black and Brown people, we are not safe in the United States. Our communities are under attack. In Gilroy, the shooter even stooped so low as to murder a six-year-old Brown boy. We don’t want to live like this. And we’re not going to take it lying down!
As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, it’s important to take stock of what online platforms have done — or haven’t done — to stop the spread of white supremacy.
While the rally and murder of peaceful protester Heather Heyer served as a wake-up call for many tech companies, Twitter has done very little to stop white supremacists from organizing, fundraising, recruiting and normalizing attacks on women and people of color on its platform. In fact, Twitter continues to provide a megaphone to white supremacists who planned or participated in Charlottesville’s deadly white-supremacist riot.
Words have consequences. White supremacists, with Trump at the helm, have consistently dehumanized our communities, calling us “invaders,” an “invasion” and an “infestation” on social media — words we saw parroted in the El Paso shooter’s manifesto.
Twitter has allowed white supremacists to run rampant on its platform, and enabled them to organize real-world events centered on their hateful ideology and publicize their acts of violence. The company’s failure to stand strong against white supremacists is putting people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, LGBTQIA+ people and women — common targets of organized online hate — in danger.
No one has a right to be amplified by online platforms. It’s long past time for Twitter to step up.
Stand on the right side of history: Tell Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to #StopRacistTwitter by banning white supremacists and adopting the Change the Terms coalition’s model policies and terms of service.
1. “Two Years Ago, They Marched in Charlottesville. Where Are They Now?” ADL, August 8, 2019, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/165078?t=12&akid=35176%2E1174326%2E2gJhaN
2. “Twitter Under Fire Again for Failing to Ban White Supremacists as Charlottesville Anniversary Nears,” Gizmodo, August 2, 2019, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/165079?t=14&akid=35176%2E1174326%2E2gJhaN
3. “Twitter Says Trump’s Tweet Didn’t Violate Its Rules Against Racism but Won’t Say Why,” The Washington Post, July 15, 2019, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/165080?t=16&akid=35176%2E1174326%2E2gJhaN
4. “Twitter Says Trump’s Tweet Didn’t Violate Its Rules Against Racism but Won’t Say Why,” The Washington Post, July 15, 2019, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/165080?t=18&akid=35176%2E1174326%2E2gJhaN
5. “Twitter Under Fire Again for Failing to Ban White Supremacists as Charlottesville Anniversary Nears,” Gizmodo, August 2, 2019, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/165079?t=20&akid=35176%2E1174326%2E2gJhaN