Sending Office: Serrano, Jose E.
How Do New Media Platforms Feed Into the Rise of Hate Crimes?
Prevent the Spread of Hate Crimes While Protecting the First Amendment
Cosponsor H.R. 4527 – the Stop HATE Act
Cosponsors: DelBene, Napolitano, Wilson (FL), Meeks, Jayapal, Velázquez, Lewis (GA), Clarke, Clark, Lofgren, Espaillat, Kilmer, Sablan, Shea-Porter, Carson, Meng, McGovern, Norton, Thompson (MS), Quigley, Moore
Supported By: National Hispanic Media Coalition, Free Press Action Fund, Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change
Members of Congress have a responsibility to support and defend the First Amendment. Yet, it is also our duty to prevent its use from inflicting physical or emotional harm on other Americans. As we have seen, most recently in Charlottesville, VA and Shelbyville,
TN, hate groups have used online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit to spread their hateful message around the country. It is time we understand how we can address the rise of hate crimes and prevent them from harming others.
In 1993, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the principal adviser on telecommunications policies and regulations for the federal government, released a groundbreaking report entitled The Role of
Telecommunications in Hate Crimes. It examined the role telecommunications played in the rise of hate crimes against certain groups, and ways the federal government and private citizens could use the media to combat these growing threats.
The NTIA has not updated this report since its initial release. Since that time, during the nascent rise of the internet, we have seen the rapid spread of new and exciting forms of communication and social media. While these new platforms connect friends
and loved ones between long distances, they also have the unintended consequence of allowing groups with nefarious motives spread their hateful ideology and organize members across the country.
That is why I have introduced H.R. 4527, the Stop Harmful and Abusive Telecommunications Expression Act (Stop HATE Act). This legislation will direct the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice to study this issue and release an updated report to Congress
analyzing the role new forms of communication play in fomenting violence and carrying out hate crimes. The report will also provide Congress and the Executive Branch a set of recommendations on how to combat the rise of online extremism, while protecting the
integrity of the First Amendment and the constitutional rights it provides every single American.
For more information, or to cosponsor the Stop HATE Act, please contact Marcus Garza (Serrano) at Marcus.Garza@mail.house.gov or 5-4346.
José E. Serrano
Member of Congress
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