The Trump administration told Facebook and Twitter to remove posts that call for tearing down statues
The pedestal on which the Confederate General Albert Pike's statue remains empty after it was toppled on June 20, 2020 by demonstrators at the Washington, DC Justice Center
Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images
The Trump administration is pressuring social media to take action against contributions that promote the overthrow of statues and other "criminal activities" in nationwide protests.
The Department of Homeland Security sent a series of letters to companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter and Snapchat asking them to take action against such posts. Business Insider received copies of the letters that were sent on Friday.
The letters do not question specific contributions, but claim that social media have promoted "burglary, arson, aggravated assault, rioting, looting, and defacing public property."
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While protests against police brutality and racism in the United States continue for the fourth week, the Trump administration is putting pressure on technology companies to act against statutes that overthrow statues, calling them "criminal activity."
The Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, sent letters to companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Snapchat on Friday. They allege that, according to copies of letters received from Business Insider, social media sites have enabled "burglary, arson, aggravated assault, rioting, looting, and defacing public property."
"It is up to you to decide how to deal with content on your platforms. I hope you will
Part of combating abuse of your platforms to promote, incite and coordinate criminal activities
That threatens the security of all Americans, "wrote Wolf in a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
Protesters demolished or destroyed dozens of statues in the United States last month. Most of them were monuments to Confederate soldiers who view protesters as glorifying slavery.
In the DHS letters to technology companies, no specific contributions are mentioned, but the platforms are asked to "end" contributions that promote vandalism. The letters were first reported by the Washington Post.
A Twitter spokesman told Business Insider that he had received the letter and intended to respond, but did not comment on it.
Representatives from Apple, Google, Facebook and Snapchat did not respond to requests for comments.
President Donald Trump has weathered protesters last month, arguing repeatedly with technology companies.
After Trump tweeted about protests that "when the looting begins, the shootout begins," Twitter added a disclaimer to his tweet saying that he was violating Twitter's rules against the glorification of violence and sparked more anger from the president. Twitter has applied a similar label to a recent Trump tweet that threatens "serious violence" against DC protesters.
More recently, Trump has tweeted that he wants to detain protesters for 10 years to punish the destruction of monuments.
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