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Photo: MSNBC

Tech companies are willing to work more closely with law enforcement to fight white nationalist terrorism, but the industry is skeptical of the White House's seriousness on the issue.

Why it matters: President Trump called on social media to do better monitoring in the wake of recent mass shootings, but the companies point out the White House still has yet to sign on to recommendations made in the wake of the Christchurch shooting.

Driving the news: As part of his comments following the Dayton and El Paso shootings, President Trump called on law enforcement and social media companies to work together more closely.

  • "I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partnership with local, state and federal agencies, as well as social media companies to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike," he said.

What they're saying: While the big tech companies didn't comment on the record, they shared a consensus around several points:

  1. Many of the big platforms welcome the attention on 8chan and more extreme internet discussion forums, pointing out that extremists tend to start out there, though many do have presences in more mainstream forums.
  2. These companies are willing to work with law enforcement and believe that concerted action could yield results. One source pointed to the success the companies have had in working with law enforcement around Islamist terrorism and even more recently around election security.
  3. Despite that willingness, there is also widespread skepticism over the seriousness of the president's call, given the administration's past indifference to white supremacism. In particular, one source pointed to the fact the U.S. hasn't moved on steps recommended in the wake of the New Zealand shooting, actions signed on to by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Amazon, as well as the heads of state of most of the U.S.'s allies. The tech companies also announced a series of steps they would take on their own, in addition to any work with law enforcement.

A White House representative was not immediately available for comment.

Our thought bubble: Trump's speech condemned "white supremacism," but his call to social media companies asked them to detect "mass shooters" rather than pursue any specific group. The question is just how deeply the administration will want social media and law enforcement to go after extremists who support the president and often share his rhetoric.

Go deeper

33 mins ago - World

WHO revises air quality guidelines to reduce deaths from pollution

Smoke from California wildfires over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in August 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Wednesday updated air quality guidelines it set roughly 15 years ago, saying that negative health effects from air pollutants can begin at lower levels than it previously thought.

Why it matters: The changes are meant to reduce deaths from pollutants that cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and prematurely kill an estimated 7 million people around the world annually, according to the WHO.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

The road to COP26 gets slightly easier

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The bad diplomatic vibes heading into the critical United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, might be improving slightly.

Catch up fast: Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday pledged to end overseas finance for building new coal-fired power plants and boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Corporations turn focus to retaining frontline workers

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Companies are narrowing the blue- and white-collar experience as they're forced to adapt to a worker-led market.

Driving the news: Basic office tools and concepts like corporate communications and schedule flexibility are migrating to frontline operations through investments in technology.

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