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Press Release Oct 29, 2021: To Curtail Violence in Chicago, Violence Interrupters’ Leader Tio Hardiman Says Elected Officials Need to Demand That Facebook Filters Content

Hardiman Says Facebook Is a Tool Criminals Use to Perpetrate Violence in the City

Press Conference Friday, October 29th, at 9:00 AM, Outside Chicago Police Department Headquarters

CHICAGO – As Facebook addresses more criticism for putting profits before safety, Tio Hardiman, executive director of Violence Interrupters Inc., said policy makers in Chicago and around the state should demand that the giant social media company design a filter that would remove language that incites violence in the nation’s third largest city.

Hardiman said street organizations are using Facebook to deliver messages about upcoming violence and some are so brazen that they carry out their murders and crimes on Facebook Live. Elected officials, he said, must take measures to block this content, because it is clear that Facebook does not have the will or the ability to police itself.

Hardiman and community leaders will hold a press conference on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at 9:00 AM (CT) calling for city and state leaders to take some action to address this matter.

“We have to think outside the box,” Hardiman said. “Cities across the nation are seeing a surge in violence. In Chicago, the number of homicides has surpassed 700, the highest number since the mid- 1990s. Law enforcement officials are struggling to find the strategy to curtail the violence. One way to prevent violence is to block the communication that is happening on Facebook. Facebook has become a popular tool for criminals. Facebook cannot become more valuable than the safety of the people.”

Over the past few years, several high profiled murders have been captured on Facebook, including the fatal shootings of two-year-old Lavontay White, Jr. in 2017 and Antonio Perkins in 2016. Perkins was gunned down as she stood with friends and family talking, joking, and drinking.

“This content perpetuates more crime,” Hardiman said. “It creates a copycat syndrome. The content must be blocked or deleted immediately. We cannot allow this to continue. Something must be done about it now.”  ###

About Tio Hardiman: Dubbed “Mr. Ceasefire”, Tio Hardiman created the award-winning CeaseFire initiative in 2004, and has been dedicated to combating problems of violence and corruption in nation’s third largest city. Hardiman is also the creator of the critically acclaimed documentary, The Interrupters (2011), and decided to produce a second film called The Chicago Way in 2017 as pushback against Chicago political corruption, police brutality, and the continued gun violence. Using his platform, Hardiman launched himself in the 2018 Gubernatorial race against Democrat powerhouses like JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy. He ran his campaign on the principles of combating violence, racism, and the top-down corruption that has been taking place for decades in Illinois. On April 26, 2020 Mr. Hardiman launched the “Tio Mr. Ceasefire Hardiman Show on WVON 1690 AM in Chicago, which airs on Sundays between 6 AM and 7 AM. For additional information on Tio Hardiman and Violence Interrupters, visit https://www.violenceinterrupters.org/. To schedule an interview with Mr. Hardiman, contact Jerry Thomas at (312) 414-4016, or jerry@jerrythomaspr.com.