US Lawmakers Ask Justin Sun, DLive How They Moderate Extremist Content

The letter also asks whether DLive identified any crypto donations from foreign entities to the individuals present on Jan. 6.

Feb 9, 2021 at 6:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:09 p.m. UTC

A pair of U.S. lawmakers have asked Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun and DLive CEO Charles Wayn to explain how they plan to prevent extremist content from being broadcast on the crypto streaming platform in the wake of last month's attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C.

In an open letter, first published by The Verge on Tuesday, Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) asked Sun and Wayn to detail how DLive is combating "domestic extremism and white supremacy on the platform," how it is protecting younger users from extremist content and whether the company has any way to identify individuals financing extremist content.

DLive is a subsidiary of BitTorrent, which was acquired by the Tron Foundation in 2018. Users can stream videos and be paid by their viewers in crypto, though after the insurrection Wayn announced that only gaming content would be able to receive payments.

The letter ties to last month's insurrection on Capitol Hill. Several far-right extremists streamed on DLive during the breach of the U.S. Capitol Building; some of them were later arrested.

"Several of these individuals earned thousands of dollars in DLive’s digital currency that day, and a number received large donations through the platform ahead of the event. One individual received $2,800 in a live stream on January 5th, 2021, in which he encouraged his viewers to murder elected officials," the letter said.

The lawmakers are part of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which appears to be just one of the congressional committees looking at how the insurrection unfolded and whether crypto played a role in financing it.

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security is holding a hearing later this month on financing of domestic terror in the wake of the Jan. 6 incident, which seems likely to include discussion of a $500,000 transaction in bitcoin made by a French blogger to right-wing figures who may have been at the Capitol.

"Did DLive or BitTorrent identify any foreign-based blockchain donations to individuals who were subsequently removed from the platform after the January 6th Capitol riots?" the letter asks.

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