LETTER FROM MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: TECH COMPANIES MUST PUT HUMANITY BEFORE PROFIT

Brussels, 25 April 2022

Twitter
Parag Agrawal, CEO
1355 Market St #900, San Francisco,
CA 94103, USA

Google
Sundar Pichai, CEO
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View,
CA 94043, USA

Meta
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, CEO
1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park,
CA 94025, USA

Dear Mr Agrawal,
dear Mr Pichai,
dear Mr Zuckerberg,

As the world watches Putin’s brutal and deadly invasion of Ukraine in horror, your companies must decide which side of history they are on. You can fulfil your responsibilities as global corporations, on which billions depend, and do all you can to avoid more death and destruction in an illegal act of war that has already led to thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, and massive destruction of cities and towns.

The choice should be an easy one. Tech companies have already removed some Russian propaganda outlets including RT and Sputnik News. However, key political figures who are spreading hate and disinformation, helping to fuel this war, are still present on major platforms. One of the examples is Alexander Dugin, the ideologue of ‘national-bolshevism’ and one of the key propagandists of the Russian aggression, who is popular with neo-fascist groups worldwide. His Facebook fanpage is still live. Further, dangerous international fascist and white supremacist groups continue to find inspiration in such propaganda.

The Putin war propaganda channels are still prominent on the major social media platforms. Some obvious examples include the pro-Kremlin Twitter accounts, among many, many others. This disinformation leads to harm and contributes to the threats against democracies everywhere. These channels and accounts need to be removed immediately.

A piecemeal approach is unacceptable. Any channel or account spewing pro-war propaganda and disinformation must be deplatformed altogether, especially those of the politically powerful who would use the loopholes afforded to them by companies with a misguided sense of ‘newsworthiness.’

The steps tech companies, including your own, have taken since the Russian invasion of Ukraine are not good enough and we have seen how discrimination, hate, violence, and even genocide have occurred while big tech fiddles.

This time, your companies must step up and do the right thing, take a lesson from the people of Ukraine and all those supporting them, including the Russian peace movement, and put humanity before profit and power.

The above letter was written on the initiative of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (USA) and the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association (Poland) and it has been supported by the following Members of the European Parliament:

Radosław Sikorski
Radan Kanev
Bogusław Liberadzki
Nicolae Ștefănuță
Miriam Lexmann
Ljudmila Novak
Adam Jarubas
Sandra Kalniete
Ivan Štefanec
Vlad Gheorghe
Aušra Maldeikienė
Jarosław Kalinowski
Elżbieta Łukacijewska
Rasa Juknevičienė
Eugen Tomac
Ewa Kopacz
Sylwia Spurek
Krzysztof Hetman
Andrey Kovatchev
Andrzej Halicki
Petras Auštrevičius
Liudas Mazylis
Nathalie Loiseau
Vladimír Bilčík