Tech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy

Protecting religious freedom, on and offline.

Hate and harassment are urgent threats to religious freedom for religious minorities and secular communities. The rise of social media platforms has enabled people of all faiths and none to find new opportunities to build community and connection online. But we’ve also seen new challenges emerge, as bad actors have broader tools to sow division and inspire fear.

As a growing number of Americans find community online, many encounter the same, or increased vitriol in digital spaces as they do in person. Now is the moment for all of us to be educated on the intersection of social media platforms, the industry that runs them, and our government’s responsibility to protect the promise of an inclusive vision of religious freedom for all, on and offline.

Why does harmful content thrive on social media? Read our resource, “Big Tech, Hate, and Religious Freedom Online” to find out and learn where to go from here.

Taking Charge of Our Online Lives

For children, social media is no longer a question of “if,” but a question of “when.” At the same time, hate online is not hard to find, as algorithms vie for users’ attention by pushing inflammatory content.

Young people need to build critical skills to identify misinformation – and our schools must provide them with those skills. Educating them about navigating online content provides protection against radicalization. The more equipped they are about the existence of hateful ideologies and misinformation, the easier it will be to shape their media consumption to be safe and a reflection of their interests.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed that the social media platform created a system that amplifies division, extremism and polarization – and [undermines] societies around the world.” Congress should take action to hold platforms accountable for the harm they knowingly cause to users.

As studies show the impact of misinformation on our elections and beyond, social media platforms owe a duty to balance their profits against user safety. What happens online doesn’t always stay online. Platforms should be held accountable when they choose profits over the public good.

The role of social media in promoting false and even hateful material in pursuit of engagement highlights the urgent need for regulation of the larger tech industry. Oversight is an essential means of protecting and promoting user safety. The federal government must be equipped to regulate the highly dynamic field of Big Tech.

By subjecting social media platforms and their parents companies to rigorous monitoring, our leaders can secure the accountability that Facebook and others have failed to provide on their own.

Big Tech, Hate, and Religious Freedom Online: A Panel Discussion

Hate and harassment pose an urgent threat to religious freedom for religious minorities and secular communities. But conversations around the role of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms in amplifying hate often focus on freedom of speech in digital spaces – not the right to freedom of belief for those targeted.

On Wednesday, January 25th, Interfaith Alliance joined leading tech experts for an intersectional conversation on the fundamental right of religious freedom, our increasingly online lives, and the impact of Big Tech business practices that incentivize hate.

Religion and Technology

Watch Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush’s discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations on the meeting of religion and digital culture.

Watch the panel discussion.

We Want to Equip Your Community to Combat Online Hate

Interfaith Alliance offers trainings to educate your communities on online hate. Reach out to for more information.

Content Moderation on Twitter

Read Interfaith Alliance Advocacy Associate Riya Kohli’s Op-Ed on Elon Musk’s Twitter and the threat it poses to religious freedom.

Read now.