Booker says tech companies 'giving a platform to hate' in wake of New Zealand shooting

Booker says tech companies 'giving a platform to hate' in wake of New Zealand shooting
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — Momentum builds for federal laws enshrining abortion rights | Missouri lawmakers approve bill banning abortions at 8 weeks | Warren unveils plan to protect abortion rights 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans Momentum builds behind push to pass laws enshrining abortion rights MORE (D-N.J.), a 2020 presidential candidate, said Friday that tech companies have a responsibility to quickly take down hate speech, responding to reports that the shooter at two New Zealand mosques posted a manifesto and video of the massacre online.

“Tech companies have a responsibility to do the morally right thing. I don’t care about your profits, when it comes to the values, the safety, security the decency, tech companies have an obligation to the right thing," Booker said while discussing the attack, according to a video tweeted by a campaign adviser.

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"This is a case where you’re giving a platform to hate," he added. "That’s unacceptable and should have never happened, and it should have been taken down a lot more swiftly. The mechanisms should be in place to allow these companies to do that." 

Booker did not mention Twitter or the alleged shooter's manifesto directly in the video clip.

Twitter said in a statement to The Hill that its priority is to act as quickly as possible in situations like this and encouraged users to report content that violates its rules.

Reports emerged Friday that the suspect in the shootings, which left 49 people dead, had previously posted a 74-page manifesto online in which he expressed hostility to nonwhites and a fear of foreign "invasion."  

The shooter also used a helmet-mounted camera to post live video of the attack online.

Several 2020 Democrats, including Booker, have increasingly criticized big technology corporations. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHere are the potential candidates still eyeing 2020 bids Sanders unveils education plan that would ban for-profit charter schools Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE (D-Mass.) has discussed invoking antitrust laws against tech giants, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHere are the potential candidates still eyeing 2020 bids Sanders unveils education plan that would ban for-profit charter schools Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE (I-Vt.) has regularly slammed Amazon for its treatment of workers. 

Updated at 1:36 p.m.