Top Republicans raise concerns over Eventbrite’s policies as ‘antisemitic’ events remain visible

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FIRST ON FOX: Top Congressional Republicans are requesting a briefing with Eventbrite’s CEO over their policies and terms, spotlighting the platform’s hypocrisy in hosting organizers’ purported antisemitic events while removing one by girls’ sports advocate Riley Gaines.

‘In the last few weeks, Eventbrite, it seems, has selectively enforced its terms of service by removing some events while allowing potentially violative events to remain on the site,’ the letter reads. ‘We raise the issues below not to dictate or remove events and users from your marketplace, but to better understand your Community Guidelines enforcement process.’

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., chair of the House Committee on Energy and Senate Committee on Commerce, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, chair of the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, Subcommittee on Oversight and Commerce, Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis, R-Fla., and Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations signed the letter. 

In October, Eventbrite removed former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines’ speaker tour stop at the University of California, Davis, from its marketplace. Gaines has been outspoken about transgender females’ participation in women’s sports.

An email from Eventbrite Trust & Safety stated that the event violated the company’s ‘community guidelines and terms of service.’ 

‘We struggle to comprehend the rationale for removing this event, while other Eventbrite listings that seemingly violate several of Eventbrite’s Community Guidelines remain live, including some that feature speakers espousing allegiance to entities designated by the U.S. Government as foreign terrorist organizations,’ the senators wrote. 

Lawmakers highlighted that Eventbrite includes events and speakers with connections to controversial and potentially offensive statements and actions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These instances involve references to the Israeli massacre on October 7, as Eventbrite promoted a fully booked ‘Palestine Center 2023 Annual Conference’ in Washington, D.C., where the organizers described Israel as ‘Israeli apartheid’ within the event’s description on the platform’s ‘About this event’ section.

‘Because Gaines’s promotion of the widely held view to preserve women’s athletics starkly contrasts with events on Eventbrite featuring speakers sympathetic to genocide, this leads us to wonder if pro-terrorist and antisemitic events and event speakers do not plainly violate Eventbrite’s prohibition of content that would ‘discriminate against, harass, disparage, threaten, incite violence against, or otherwise target individuals or groups based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, religion, national origin,’’ the letter said. ‘We seek information on what metrics Eventbrite uses to enforce its Community Guidelines on selected issues such as women’s athletics versus terrorism and antisemitism.’

Senators request information by December 21 from Eventbrite about the company’s review process, the violation of Community Guidelines, the handling of alleged pro-Hamas and antisemitic events, the identification of terrorist organizations, metrics used to enforce guidelines, and the comparison of complaints and review timelines among different events.

‘We appreciate your stated commitment to be ‘a platform that values diverse opinions and a vibrant community . . .’ but are not confident that you are enforcing this policy with any consistency,’ the letter concluded. 

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