In light of the most recent mass shootings, a group of tech CEOs and founders has come together to call out tech companies for their role in helping white supremacists organize and amplify their rhetoric and carry out violent attacks.
“Technology platforms promised us connection, access, and democracy but instead are radicalizing and fragmenting communities by providing an unprecedented ability to coordinate attacks and amplify hate,” the group wrote in a post published today. “We believe technology should improve the human experience and quality of life for everyone, and that tech companies and leaders should take responsibility for the harm caused by their platforms and tools.”
The founders behind the letter—a group of 10 tech leaders that includes Project Include CEO Ellen Pao, Code2040 CEO Karla Monterroso, and Glitch CEO Anil Dash—have long been vocal on issues of diversity and inclusion in tech. Their post cites how tech platforms have given voice to white extremists who target minority groups and, in multiple cases, inspired them to action:
White supremacist terrorism and violence, fueled by racism and misogyny, and empowered by technology, is on the rise. They’ve moved beyond their white robes and hoods to social media and public rallies where they radicalize and fund their growing membership. Our government leaders at the highest levels encourage and spread it. Our industry leaders enable and profit from it. Four of the five worst gun massacres in modern history have taken place over the past two years. Evidence shows that many of these shooters are inspired by white supremacist ideology and targeting marginalized people.
Almost all of the 22 victims of the El Paso shooting were Latinx, six of the nine killed in Dayton were Black. The Pulse Nightclub shooting targeted the Latinx LGBTQIA+ community, the Tree of Life shooting targeted Jewish people, the Charleston church massacre also targeted the Black community, and members of the Sikh faith were targeted in Oak Creek.
With this coalition, they’re looking to not only hold tech companies accountable but also connect with other people and organizations interested in building more responsible tech. The eventual goal is to build “a space for organizing, amplifying, and exchanging information.”
Read the full post here.