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How Big Tech Can Fight White Supremacist Terrorism

It Has the Tools—It Just Needs to Use Them

Mourners at a vigil for the shooting victims in El Paso, August 2019 Callaghan O'Hare / Reuters

On the morning of August 3, Patrick Crusius uploaded a 2,300-word manifesto to 8chan, an online forum popular with white nationalists. Within seconds, byte-sized packets bearing the anti-immigrant screed would cross borders the world over, wending their way from El Paso, Texas, to the Philippines, where 8chan is based. News of what Crusius did next would travel even wider. Armed with an AK-47, the recent college dropout stormed a Walmart not far from the Mexican border, killing 22 and wounding as many more. His self-professed goal: to kill as many Mexicans as possible.

The carnage in El Paso, coupled with a separate mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that night, prompted renewed debate over how to respond to online hate. As political pressure mounted, U.S. President Donald Trump borrowed a page from the Obama playbook and convened a “tech summit” on extremism. On August 9, White House officials hosted representatives from major technology

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