The civil rights groups behind the Stop Hate for Profit campaign against Facebook in 2020 are now pushing social media companies to do more to tackle violent rhetoric. On Thursday, Stop Hate called out Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Discord and Reddit, claiming they have not done enough to combat “white supremacy” ideologies.
In particular, Stop Hate, which is backed by the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, called on the social media sites to “deplatform” Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and “other repeat perpetrators spreading the ‘Great Replacement’ theory because of their significant role mainstreaming ideologies that normalize hate, foment fear and buoy extremists,” the group said in an announcement on Thursday.
Carlson has been criticized for promoting the so-called “great replacement” theory during his show. The most extreme version of the conspiracy theory posits that there is an intentional plan to replace white people in Western countries with Black and brown immigrants and that the plot is being run by Jewish people. Earlier this month, a gunman, who appeared to be radicalized by racist rhetoric, inspired in part by the “great replacement” ideology, killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York.
Read Ad Age's latest news on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Carlson addressed the shooting on his show last week, referring to a 180-page “manifesto” from the perpetrator. Carlson called the shooter “racist, bitterly so,” adding the shooter “reduces people to their skin color. That's the essence of racism and it is immoral.”
“The document is crazy. It's the product of a diseased and inorganized mind,” Carlson said. He also talked about a desire to “de-escalate” racial tensions in the U.S. “There is only one answer to rising racial tension and that is to de-escalate and do what we have done and tried to do for hundreds of years, which has work toward colorblind meritocracy.”
The manifesto was filled with racism, and as in previous instances where gunman dropped chaotic screeds online, it is hard to parse exact political motives. The manifesto does not make mention of Carlson.
Social media played a role in the shooting—the gunman livestreamed part of the rampage on Twitch, a video site owned by Amazon. The gunman’s social media past revealed he was active on Discord, a community for chatting with like-minded people online. And while Twitch received some credit for acting quickly to remove the shooter’s livestream, footage of the incident quickly spread elsewhere online.
Stop Hate noted that the “great replacement” theory has also led to violence including a 2018 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue, the 2019 Christchurch shooting at two mosques in New Zealand, and 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.