White House to meet with top tech companies about online extremism

The meeting comes after President Trump called for social media companies "to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike."
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Aug. 2, 2019.Carolyn Kaster / AP

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By Dareh Gregorian and Peter Alexander

The White House will play host Friday to officials from Silicon Valley to discuss ways to combat the rise of violent extremism online, NBC News has confirmed.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Wednesday that the staff-led meeting will include senior administration officials along with representatives of a range of big tech companies. The companies were not identified. It was not clear whether President Donald Trump plans to join the meeting.

The meeting was first reported by Politico.

The sit-down was scheduled in the wake of Saturday's deadly mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. The suspected gunman apparently posted a racist screed on the message board 8chan shortly before the attack.

Sources familiar with the meeting tell NBC the intended focus of the meeting is not on hate speech, but on violence.

In a speech from the White House on Monday, Trump called for law-enforcement officials, "as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike."

A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment. Representatives for Google and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.