“Detect mass shooters before they strike,” Trump addresses social media companies

Ambulance and police
Following two latest mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump said his administration would ask social media firms to create instruments that could detect potential mass shooters.

Trump said, while delivering a speech on the recent violence, “we must do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs,” and he proposed that social media businesses could create fresh methods to catch “red flags.”

“I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partnership with local state and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike,” Trump said in his speech.

While the president did not indicate what the “tools” might look like, Trump seemed to suggest that businesses could use predictive software to identify potential shooters based on their platform activity. This would essentially imply taking action before an individual commit’s violent crimes. Data mining instruments are widely used but building a violence detection system would inevitably raise a host of problems related to privacy and accountability.

Trump, who proposed previously in the morning on Twitter that the news media “contributed greatly to the anger and rage” in the U.S., also used his time on the podium to condemn ” gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace,” stating they generate a culture that “celebrates violence.” Trump’s speech, however, mainly skirted the issue of gun control legislation. The president also called for bipartisan work on “strong background checks” on Twitter today but suggested linking it to immigration law modifications.

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