Breakfast Briefing, 6.5.2017: Leaders call for social media to do more to fight terror

In response, one Facebook executive said the social network wants to be a "hostile environment" for terrorists.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons, by © User:Colin and Kim Hansen / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0,
(Image via Wikimedia Commons, by © User:Colin and Kim Hansen / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The offices of several PR firms in the London Bridge and Borough Market areas of London were shut down on Monday morning as police in the British capital continue to investigate Saturday’s terrorist attack. Staffers from firms including Four Communications and Munro & Forster Communications were working remotely, according to PRWeek UK. Meanwhile, politicians across the country have resumed campaigning ahead of Thursday’s snap election.

Shortly after the Saturday night terrorist attack, British leaders called for social media networks to do more to halt the spread of extremist ideology on their platforms, with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May saying they give extremism a "safe space it needs to breed," according to Fox Business. Facebook appears to have gotten the message. Its policy director issued a statement on Sunday saying, "We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists," according to CNN.

In another break with convention, President Donald Trump was highly critical of London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter in the hours after the attacks, as was White House social media director Dan Scavino. Trump issued a more diplomatic statement on Sunday night. The acting top American diplomat in London—Trump hasn’t picked a full-time ambassador yet—contradicted Trump on Sunday and praised Khan’s leadership.

Uber is hearing it on social media from angry customers, who said the company took too long to end surge pricing in London on Saturday night as people tried to flee the scene of the attacks. The company’s general manager in London defended its response and said Uber pulled back surge pricing as soon as it could, according to CNN.

News to know as you start the work week: What to watch at Apple’s WWDC 2017, via Recode; @RealPressSecBot Twitter account translates Trump tweets into real statements; WPP CEO Martin Sorrell facing another shareholder revolt over his pay package; Megyn Kelly debuts on NBC News with Putin interview; Trump criticizes own Justice Department for watering down "travel ban." 

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