RELEASE: Gottheimer, Bacon Introduce Bipartisan STOP HATE Act to Combat Terrorist Propaganda and Disinformation on Social Media

Key to America’s National Security

Nov 22, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Don Bacon (NE-2) introduced the bipartisan Stopping Terrorists Online Presence and Holding Accountable Tech Entities Act, known as the STOP HATE Act, to help stop terrorism and disinformation on social media and online. This legislation is supported by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). 

Full text of the legislation can be found here.

Since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel and brutally murdered, raped, burned alive, decapitated, and kidnapped 1,200 innocent babies, children, women, men, and elderly, including Americans, social media organizations have failed to stop the spread of pro-Hamas propaganda and disinformation.

The bipartisan Stopping Terrorists Online Presence and Holding Accountable Tech Entities Act, known as the STOP HATE Act, will:

  • Require social media companies to release detailed reports of violations to their terms of service and how they are addressing content generated by Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) or Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).
  • Require social media companies to explain the standard by which they would judge whether content generated or proliferated by terrorists would be deemed in a violation of the company’s terms of service.
  • Every day social media companies don’t comply, it will result in a $5 million fine.
  • Require the Director of National Intelligence to provide a report on the use of social media by terrorist organizations. 

China-owned TikTok and social media platforms are spreading terrorist propaganda, hate, and disinformation:

  • The ADL has reported that social media platforms are struggling to prevent hate and harassment from proliferating by:
  • Failing to deal with niche or emerging hateful terms and acronyms
  • Inadequately enforcing against dehumanizing and stereotyping language
  • Having difficulty moderating video and image content
  • Failing to curb influential accounts’ use of tools, such as promoted posts, to amplify harmful content.
  • A recent TikTok video, seen by more than 300,000 users, promoted conspiracy theories about the origins of the Hamas attacks, including false claims that they were orchestrated by the media. 
  • There was a Twitter post viewed more than 20,000 times purporting to show Israelis staging civilian deaths for cameras.

“The content on social media platforms, especially on China-owned TikTok, is being used by Russia, China, and Iran as a tool of terror, propaganda, and disinformation to influence Americans, especially younger Americans. Using TikTok, China has the ability to control what an entire generation of kids sees and consumes every single day,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “It’s time to put an end to these online weapons of terror. This is about protecting our national security from adversaries who want to do harm to America’s standing as the leader of the free world.”

“When our students and young people are openly supporting Hamas, we have to look to the source of the propaganda, and multiple signs point to TikTok. As a Colonel in Iraq, I saw Al-Qaeda utilize social media for fundraising and recruitment. We cannot ignore the ways social media is used to radicalize people,” said Congressman Don Bacon (NE-2).

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