Blue Dogs Back Raising the Bar Act to Address Terrorist Content on Social Media

Feb 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition, which focuses on issues related to fiscal responsibility and national security, announced its endorsement of H.R. 5209, Raising the Bar Act of 2019, which would help hold social media companies accountable and stop the spread of terrorist content online in a way that would “raise the bar” for social media companies to shut down terrorist activity on their platforms. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Max Rose (NY-11), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security and Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Counterterrorism.


Rep. Rose’s Raising the Bar Act, which is inspired by the European Union’s Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online, would establish an exercise program in which online terrorist content is flagged for social media companies. During each exercise, approved flaggers identify terrorist content to help test a company’s ability to address such content on their platforms within 24 hours. Social media companies are then rated on their performance in each exercise by a lead institution, such as a university or non-profit organization, which will be selected by the Department of Homeland Security. 


“The second we start to think that we’re doing enough to confront the spread of hatred and violence online is the second we will lose this battle,” said Rep. Max Rose (NY-11), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition’s Task Force on National Security. “Those looking to exploit social media platforms to spread terrorist content are always working to stay a step ahead, and these social media companies have a responsibility to leave no stone unturned in confronting this problem. The Raising the Bar Act is an innovative way to hold social media companies accountable and ensure they’re living up to their own standards when it comes to removing terrorist content from their platforms.”


“It’s time for social media companies to hit delete on terrorist digital content,” said Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-5), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security. “Too often, American social media platforms are used to promote violence and recruit for terrorist networks. Today’s legislation provides an innovative strategy for combatting terrorist content online by providing social media companies with modern standards for accountability for the content posted on their platforms.”