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Statement

Coalition Letter Urges the Department of Homeland Security to End Social Media Monitoring Initiative

On August 24, 2021, the Brennan Center and five other organizations sent a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, urging him to end a new social media monitoring program due to a lack of effectiveness and serious civil rights and civil liberties concerns.

Published: August 24, 2021

The new initiative is part of DHS’s efforts to combat domestic terrorism and intends to identify online “narratives” that are likely to incite violence, as well as people who may be susceptible to those narratives based on their social media behavior. While recognizing the need to mount a robust response to the deadly violence aimed at religious, ethnic, and LGBTQ minority communities around the nation, the letter recommends that DHS stop this effort. Social media content is notoriously difficult to accurately interpret and attribute, and broadly monitoring social media would sweep up individuals who will not commit violent crimes, could chill political expression, and may be turned against the marginalized communities the program is intended to protect.

Coalition Letter Urges the ... by The Brennan Center for Justice