WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to chief executives of five large tech companies asking them to ensure social media platforms are not used to incite violence in the wake of nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death.
“I am writing to ask you to do your part to put an end to violence and illegal activity spreading across our country by ensuring that your platforms are not used as a tool to organize, facilitate, or incite dangerous or deadly riots, in violation of state and local laws,” Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in the letter.
Wolf said the department supports First Amendment rights that allow citizens to freely express themselves but cautioned against social media being weaponized to perpetuate criminal activity.
He asked Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet’s Google, Snapchat and Apple to help end information sharing on how to break city curfews, which stores or neighborhoods to target for looting or destruction, and coordination of attacks against particular people or groups of people.
The letter dated June 25 was first reported by the Washington Post.
It comes at a time when the Trump administration has begun targeting people for vandalizing monuments and statues during protests against racial inequality.
The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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