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Congress Holds White Nationalism Hearing; Online Commenters Unleash Flood of Hate Speech

HeadlineApr 10, 2019
H13 congress white nationalism hearing

Representatives from Google and Facebook, as well as civil rights advocates, testified in front of Congress Tuesday on the rise of white nationalism and the spread of hate speech through social media. Lawmakers called the hearing in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which a white supremacist gunman killed 50 people at two mosques and live-streamed the massacre. This is Kristen Clarke of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Kristen Clarke: “Corrosive white supremacist movements are tearing away at the fabric of our nation. And without question, they are using online platforms to recruit new members, activate followers, target communities, organize rallies, stream their murders and incite violence.”

Partway through the hearing, YouTube had to turn off comments on a live stream of the hearing as users inundated the platform with racist, anti-Semitic and other hateful comments. According to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacists were responsible for more than three-quarters of domestic extremist murders in 2018.

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