Investors Push for Social Media Controls Ahead of US Inauguration

Facebook Appoints Former Cisco Executive as Its New India Communications Head

Pension fund managers and spiritual buyers on Friday requested prime social media firms to step up their content material management efforts to cut back the specter of violence forward of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden subsequent week.

The effort is the newest strain on Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet over excessive rhetoric after the storming of the US Capitol final week by supporters of President Donald Trump.

In letters despatched on Thursday, the buyers – together with New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the Service Employees International Union and the Unitarian Universalist Association – requested for steps together with disabling the coding they stated tends to raise conspiracy theories and radicalizing content material, and for the businesses to proceed to flag content material with hashtags like #Stopthesteal.

In the longer run, boards and executives should overview their “business model and reliance on algorithmic decision making, which has been linked to the spread of hate and disinformation online,” the letters stated.

Alphabet representatives didn’t reply to questions. A Facebook spokesman stated it has banned over 250 white supremacist teams and enforced guidelines like these barring militias from organizing on its platform. A Twitter consultant cited actions it has taken like suspending accounts that primarily shared QAnon content material.

Violent rhetoric on social media platforms has ramped up in current weeks as teams deliberate brazenly for the gathering in Washington, in response to researchers and public postings, prompting criticism of the businesses for failing to take motion upfront.

Twitter and Facebook banned Trump’s accounts final week because the tech giants scrambled to crack down on Trump’s baseless claims of fraud within the US presidential election.

The activist buyers collectively handle about $390 billion in property however personal comparatively small stakes within the social media firms. Top shareholders within the area to date have declined to touch upon their responses together with BlackRock Inc Vanguard Group Inc and Morgan Stanley.

The bans on Trump have prompted concern amongst different buyers that customers and advertisers would go away for various platforms. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated the choice was right however set a harmful precedent. Facebook operations chief Sheryl Sandberg has stated the corporate has no plans to elevate its ban.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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