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Trump wants social media companies to detect mass shooters

CNET logo CNET 8/5/2019 Oscar Gonzalez
Mike Pence, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: President Donald Trump remarks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Alex Wong / Getty Images © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. President Donald Trump remarks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Alex Wong / Getty Images

Following a weekend with two mass shootings, President Donald Trump directed the Department of Justice to work with local, state and federal agencies to work harder to find potential attackers. He also called on social media companies to "develop tools to detect mass shooters before they strike." 

During a speech Monday at the White House, Trump said the internet acts as a "dangerous avenue to radicalized, disturbed minds." 

"The perils of the internet and social media cannot be ignored and will not be ignored," he said. "Hate has no place in America."

Trump also asked the FBI to identify what resources the agency needs to investigate and disrupt "hate crimes and domestic terrorism." 

Later in his speech, the president called for the end of the "glorification of violence," focusing on the video game industry and said mental health laws must be reformed. Trump also said he will direct the Department of Justice to propose legislation to treat hate crimes and mass shootings as capital crimes that can result in the death penalty. 

Related video: How social media plays a role in white nationalist violence (CBS News)


On Saturday, 20 people died in a mass shooting in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Another victim died Monday morning, bringing the death toll to 21. Early Sunday, nine people died in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio

The alleged 21-year-old gunman in the El Paso shooting posted a manifesto on the anonymous forum 8chan. This is the third time this year a mass shooter posted on 8chan before an attack and led security platform Cloudflare to drop 8chan as a client. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed outrage over the shootings on Sunday, saying it's time to "come together to address this violence for the good of our country."

The Department of Justice didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Originally published Aug. 5, 8:15 a.m. PT.


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