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White House plans meeting with tech companies about online extremism

But it wasn’t clear which companies

President Trump Departs White House En Route To Dayton, Ohio And El Paso, Texas Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The White House said in a statement today that it would host a meeting this week with tech companies about online extremism, following this weekend’s two mass shootings.

“The White House has invited internet and technology companies for a discussion on violent extremism online,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement. “The staff-led meeting will take place Friday and include senior administration officials along with representatives of a range of companies.”

It wasn’t immediately clear, though, which companies would be involved in the meeting. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment. Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Questions about radicalism online have taken on a grim new relevance after this week’s violence. The shooter in El Paso, Texas posted a racist screed to the website 8chan, at least the third time a person linked to a white supremacist terror attack posted to the site. The news has raised larger questions about online platforms’ responsibility to deal with extremism.

In a speech on Monday, President Trump, without calling for major new gun control legislation, said he would order the Justice Department to meet with tech companies “to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.” Such a system would likely raise concerns over privacy and feasibility.