Terrorists and other hate groups like al-Qaeda, ISIS, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis use social media and video streaming platforms to publish and spread their hateful and offensive content for radicalization, propaganda, or organizational purposes. After the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, the tech community has been figuring out ways to respond. Platforms have increased the rate of which they either take down white supremacist content or make it harder to find. But, many companies and platforms have been flagging and taking down such harmful for a long while, especially pertaining to terrorist content.
A bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate would create an obligation for social media companies and others to report undefined “terrorist activity” to the U.S. government. This terrible idea would bring innocent people under government surveillance for protected expression, while doing nothing to make us safer. The Senate should drop the provision.