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Trump Cites Social Media, Video Games, in Post-Shooting Speech

Suggesting it was not guns that kill people but mentally ill/twisted monsters with access to social media and violent video games, an unusually sedate President Trump signaled he wanted to crack down on the latter two. 

That came in prepared remarks Monday (Aug. 5) on the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas over the past 48 hours.  

In a speech the President appeared to be reading verbatim, or at least mostly so, from a teleprompter, the President said: "We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented act," something the President's tweets about immigrants and others have been accused themselves of doing. 

He also appeared to be blaming the media while using his favorite social media site, tweeting:


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The President said a light needed to be shined on "the dark recesses" of the internet and stop mass murders before they start," eventually adding: "Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun." 

While he was on the subject, he pointed out that the internet was used for human trafficking, illegal drug distribution. He said the "perils" of the internet and social media cannot, and they will not, be ignored." 

Related: White House Focused on Video Violence

But the President was also looking for help from social media. He said his administration would work with social media companies on tools to detect mass shooters before they strike.  

He said there must be a stop to the glorification of violence in our society, including "the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace." He said it has become too easy for troubled youth to surround themselves with culture that celebrates violence." 

Related: Trump Decries Movie, Video Violence

He said it had to be stopped, or "substantially reduced," and "immediately. He did not say how that would happen, though he suggested there needed to be a "cultural change" toward valuing every human life.  

Last year's Parkland, Florida, school shooting (17 students and teachers killed), drew similar calls from the White House for looking into media's impact on violence, as did the Sandy Hook shootings during President Obama's tenure, as did the Columbine shootings during the Clinton years.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.