Pension fund managers and religious investors asked top social media companies to tighten content controls last Friday to reduce the threat of violence in the swearing-in of US President-elect Biden next week.

This is the latest pressure on extreme rhetoric from Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet after supporters of US President Donald Trump swept the US Capitol last week.

In a letter issued on Thursday, investors including New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the International Service Workers Association and the Unitarian Universalist Association requested steps to be taken, including banning what they believe to be a tendency To promote the coding of conspiracy theories and radical content, and for the company. Continue to tag content with tags like #Stopthesteal.

The letter said that in the long run, the board of directors and executives must review their “business model and reliance on algorithmic decision-making, which is related to the spread of online hatred and false information.”

Letters indicate that the question was not answered. A Facebook spokesperson said that it has banned more than 250 white supremacist groups and implemented rules such as prohibiting militias from organizing its platforms. A Twitter representative cited measures taken, such as suspending accounts that primarily share QAnon content.

According to researchers and publicly released information, in recent weeks, social groups have planned public gatherings in Washington, and violent speech on social media platforms has surged, triggering criticism of the two companies’ failure to act early.

Twitter and Facebook banned Trump’s account last week as technology giants scrambled to crack down on Trump’s baseless allegations of fraud in the US election.

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These activist investors collectively manage approximately $390 billion in assets, but they hold relatively few shares in social media companies. So far, major shareholders in the field have declined to comment on their responses, including BlackRock, Pioneer Group and Morgan Stanley.

The ban on Trump has attracted the attention of other investors that users and advertisers will choose to use different platforms. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the decision was correct, but it set a dangerous precedent. Facebook’s head of operations, Sheryl Sandberg, said the company has no plans to lift the ban.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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