WASHINGTON — The following is the statement of Change the Terms, a coalition of civil- and human-rights organizations, in response to Friday’s deadly attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand:
“Our condolences and love go out to members of the Christchurch mosques and the people of New Zealand. Hate has once again brought violence to Muslims in their places of worship.
“We’re reminded of the murderous attacks on Jews in Pittsburgh at Tree of Life Synagogue and on African American Christians at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In those cases, and in so many more, the murderers’ hatred found a home online. These shooters were incited by online hate and conspiracy theories that demonize and dehumanize people because of their religions, races, genders and sexual identities.
“The Change the Terms coalition has called on tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter to take the steps necessary to curb the use of social media, payment processors, event-scheduling pages, chat rooms and other applications for hateful activities. Many companies have recently taken important steps forward. This must continue with concrete efforts to build out a culture that prioritizes curbing hateful activities, with a focus on enforcement, transparency, staff training, governance and appeal rights.
“Videos of the murders in Christchurch and a purported manifesto have circulated online. We urge all tech companies to use all existing capacities to immediately remove these from their services. We call on internet users everywhere to flag this content to these companies for removal.”
Change the Terms is a campaign committed to curbing the spread of hate online and is endorsed by more than 50 civil- and human-rights organizations More information is available at changetheterms.org.