Gottheimer wants to hold social media companies accountable for spreading hate, disinformation
New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer is calling for action to tackle antisemitism in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel and the resulting war in Gaza. The Democratic congressman is taking aim at social media platforms, particularly China-owned TikTok for its role in spreading hate and disinformation.
Gottheimer teamed up with Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon and the Anti-Defamation League to announce a bipartisan Stop Hate Act. Gottheimer says social media apps are breeding grounds for terrorist sympathizers.
“The bottom line is this is a massive disinformation campaign spreading through our country, spreading through young people, spreading around the world…China is pro-Hamas, so it only makes sense for them to push anti-Israel, anti-American content on TikTok,” Gottheimer says.
Jonathan Greenblatt, of the Anti-Defamation League, says this is an unprecedented time in America.
“We’ve seen a tsunami of antisemitism, hate, disinformation, misinformation, propaganda and the single most consequential, significant superspreader of hate today is social media,” Greenblatt says.
He says this legislation is vital because online rhetoric can lead to offline violence.
The Stop Hate Act would demand accountability from social media companies, requiring them to report how they are addressing people using their platforms for terrorist purposes. Gottheimer says that every day social media companies don’t comply will result in a $5 million fine.
The Director of National Intelligence would have to provide a report on the use of social media by terrorist organizations.