Aug 7, 2019

White House invites tech companies to discuss "violent extremism online"

Trump makes remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House after the El Paso shooting.Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The White House has asked unnamed "internet and technology companies" to attend a meeting with staff and senior administration officials on Friday about "violent extremism online," an administration spokesperson said Wednesday.

Why it matters: The invitation, which was first reported by Politico, comes in the wake of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which the suspected gunman allegedly posted an anti-immigrant manifesto on the online forum 8chan. The cybersecurity provider Cloudflare has stopped working with 8chan, which has been linked to mass shootings this year in El Paso, New Zealand and San Diego.

Go deeper: What to do about 8chan, the net's atrocity megaphone

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In gun reform plan, Beto O'Rourke wants to hold social media liable

Beto O’Rourke speaks at a campaign re-launch on August 15 in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke wants to hold social media platforms liable for failing to ban "hateful activities" like harassment, white nationalism or defamation in his newly unveiled gun reform plan.

Be smart: Efforts to limit or amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — which shields platforms like Google and Facebook from legal liability for users' posts — have historically failed because of free speech protections granted by the First Amendment.

Go deeperArrowAug 17, 2019

Trump taunts Beto O'Rourke ahead of El Paso visit

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke near the scene of last weekend's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

President Trump mocked Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke's Hispanic nickname in a late-night tweet ahead of his visit to the former congressman's hometown of El Paso Wednesday to honor victims of the city's mass shooting.

Why it matters: ABC News notes that Trump's Twitter attack is in direct opposition to the conciliatory tone he struck when he condemned racism following Saturday's massacre, saying "Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside." O'Rourke has said Trump is a "white nationalist" who encourages racism and violence in the U.S.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019

Trump Facebook ads warning of immigrant "invasion" posted 2,200 times

President Trump speaks with reporters at the White House. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump has run approximately 2,200 Facebook advertisements warning of an "invasion" at the southern border, according to CNN analysis of the social media giant's political ad archive.

Why it matters: A study by Axios found last month that Trump is spending millions of dollars on Facebook ads, focusing on immigration as a key reelection strategy. However, his divisive rhetoric is being scrutinized amid reports that the suspected El Paso gunman spoke of an "invasion" in an online post just before the shooting massacre, CNN notes.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019