De Blasio Calls For Social Media Regulation To Curb Hate Crimes

Rich Lamb
December 12, 2019 - 4:13 pm
Bill de Blasio

NYC Mayors Office

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea met with Jewish leaders in Williamsburg on Thursday in wake of the shooting tragedy in Jersey City.

Standing among prominent leaders of the Satmar community, the mayor promised to keep people safe and root out hate.

He pointed to a new NYPD unit intended to find haters before they can act and then turned his verbal fire on social media firms, accusing them of spreading hatred.

"Right now, today, those social media companies are profiting in ways we can't even imagine in part because they have become very convenient platforms for hatred," de Blasio said. "(It's) time for them to own up to it, step up, end the hate."

The mayor is calling on the federal government to create regulation.

"They are unregulated utilities. They must be regulated and this a growing conversation we are having in our nation. They can't keep claiming to be innocent, to be neutral. They're not. They're making a huge amount of money and they're making money off of hate speech. Let's be real blunt about this," de Blasio said.

Social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, have faced increasing scrutiny and criticism across the globe for their role in the spread of hate crimes.

A House committee in April pressed Google and Facebook executives on whether they are doing enough to curb the problem.

Francethe U.K. and Australia have considered tighter oversight of the platforms.

In wake of the New Zealand mosque shootings, Australia's Parliament passed legislation in April that could lead to the imprisonment of social media executives if their platforms stream real violence.

A European Union parliamentary committee also approved a bill giving internet companies an hour to remove terror-related material or face fines.