Social media must address spikes in online threats

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger condemned violent statements online as threats mounted after the Mar-a-Lago raid.
  • Kinzinger suggested that social media companies should do more to stop the promotion of violence.
  • The House Oversight Committee on Friday sent letters to social media companies about online threats.

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger on Friday suggested that social media companies should be more proactive against violent online threats.

The Illinois congressman, one of two Republicans on the House selection committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that the country “must come to a conclusion about what social media are and are not responsible”. in front of.”

“I’m all for the First Amendment,” he said. “What I am not in favor of is promoting defiant, violent speech, being passed around in this media that can lead to a really destabilized situation.”

His comments came hours after House Oversight Committee lawmakers sent letters to the executives of eight social media companies, demanding they take action against the “peak in online threats against law enforcement” that have been leveled since the FBI searched Donald Trump’s Mar. . -a-Lago house on August 8.

A letter has been sent to the executives of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Truth Social, Rumble, Gettr, Telegram and Gab.

“We are concerned that reckless statements by the former president and Republican members of Congress have unleashed a torrent of violent threats on social media that have already resulted in at least one death and endanger law enforcement in the United States,” he said. Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Representative Stephen Lynch, the chairs of the Oversight Committee, wrote. “We urge you to take immediate action to address any threat of violence against law enforcement that appears on your company’s platforms.”

A gunman was shot dead by police last week after an hours-long standoff at an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, two days after the Mar-a-Lago raid. Authorities say the suspect attempted to break into the FBI’s office.

Kinzinger also took a swipe at older social media users who show off their guns and claim to “go after the government” or the FBI.

“It’s all about TikTok,” he said. “I always love seeing these 50, 60-year-old guys on TikTok.”

“But we have to discuss things like that – as if that is no longer possible in this country,” he continued.

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