In remarks at the White House on Monday following two mass shootings over the weekend in Ohio and Texas, the president called on social media companies to develop a way to predict mass shooters before they act, according to a report from The Verge.
The president said he would direct his Justice Department to work with the companies to develop the tools to identify would-be mass shooters, and said the companies could develop practices that indicate what Trump called “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 during his speech.
As The Verge noted, the president did not specify what any of those “tools” might look like.
The shooter in El Paso, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, reportedly posted a manifesto to online forum website 8chan that claimed he was probably going to die; it was filled with white nationalist rhetoric and hatred toward immigrants and first-generation Americans, per CNN.
To commit the mass shooting, Crusius allegedly drove some nine hours from his suburb in Dallas, Texas to El Paso, a city whose population is comprised of 83 percent Hispanic or Latino people, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
After two mass shootings, Trump wants social media companies to "develop tools to detect mass shooters before they strike"https://t.co/XrzOudibPM
— CNET (@CNET) August 5, 2019
Meanwhile, Cloudfare, a provider of internet services, dropped 8chan as a customer Monday. In a blog post, the company’s CEO, Matthew Prince, said the decision came after the forum website, which is known for having little rules and policing, was used as a tool in other mass-shooting events. 8chan has been linked to three mass-shooting events this year alone, per a report from The New York Times.
As NBC News reported, 8chan faced intermittent outages on Monday following Cloudfare’s decision to cut the website from its web services.
Police have not yet revealed a potential motive for the shooting Sunday in Dayton, in which 24-year-old Connor Betts killed nine, including his sister, per local news outlet WCPO.
The remarks came during the same speech where the president notably misidentified the location of the Ohio shooting. The shooting took place in Dayton, Ohio, though the president, seemingly reading from a Teleprompter, said it took place in Toledo, Ohio.
Toledo and Dayton are more than two hours from each other by car, according to a Google Maps search. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, also misidentified the shooting’s location, per a previous report from The Inquisitr.