Washington, DC – Today, 15 civil rights and advocacy organizations – including Muslim Advocates, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Media Matters and many more – sent a public letter to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter urging them to more adequately respond to the hate violence and groups that flourish on their platforms. The letter comes after a federal indictment highlighted how Russian officials exacerbated the problems started and perpetuated by American hate groups on these platforms.
All three companies testified at a Senate hearing entitled, “Terrorism and Social Media: #IsBigTechDoingEnough?” where each wrongly, and dangerously, conflated violent extremism with Islam. None of the groups adequately or proactively mentioned the actions they are taking against white supremacists who target members of the African-American, LGBTQ, immigration, Latino, Asian, Jewish, Sikh, and Muslim communities.
As their letter states, “At a time when anti-Muslim, anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant and anti-Jewish sentiment have fueled a marked increase in violent attacks on individuals in each of these communities, a responsible discussion regarding violent extremism must include a focus on white supremacists and other non-Muslim violent extremists. On far too many occasions, discussions about terror do not acknowledge that no ideology owns violent extremism.”
According to Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at Muslim Advocates, “Whether you’re an immigrant, Muslim, Jewish, LGBTQ, a woman, or a person of color, all of our communities are experiencing unprecedented amounts of violence driven by hate groups and extremists. These social media platforms are letting white supremacists and hate groups off the hook for the violence they perpetrate–and we’re all less safe because of it.”
The signers of the letter include the Arab American Institute, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, the Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, CREDO, Emgage, Media Matters for America, MoveOn.Org, Muslim Advocates, the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Sikh Campaign, the Sikh Coalition, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.