Election Disinformation Rampant – Civil Rights & Democracy Groups Call on Social Media Giants to Take Threat Seriously
- David Vance (202) 736-5712 firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil rights, democracy, and public interest groups are calling out the major social media companies for not doing enough to combat election disinformation and urging them to take steps to combat and curb the rampant problem in the final weeks before this year’s midterm elections. In a letter to the CEOs of Meta (Facebook), Twitter, YouTube, Snap, Instagram, TikTok, and Alphabet, the groups urged the platforms to do more to combat the proliferation of election disinformation on their platforms with a particular focus on combatting the ‘Big Lie’, preventing disinformation targeting non-English speaking communities, and creating more friction to reduce the distribution of content containing electoral disinformation.
In a May letter, a coalition of more than 120 groups urged the platforms to do far more than they had in 2020 when their efforts proved woefully inadequate. But since then, the platforms have simply rolled out essentially the same set of policies that led to the social media election disinformation disaster two years ago.
The groups signing this week’s letter include Common Cause, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Center for American Progress, UnidosUS, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The groups warned the CEOs that without swift and decisive action, election disinformation on their platforms will continue to undermine our democracy by confusing, intimidating, and harassing voters, suppressing the right to vote, and otherwise disrupting our democracy.
Statement of Yosef Getachew, Common Cause Media & Democracy Program Director
Election disinformation on the major social media platforms is a very real threat to our democracy. Americans deserve more than lip-service and half-measures from the platforms to curb that disinformation. These platforms have been weaponized by enemies of democracy, both foreign and domestic who have targeted marginalized communities to suppress their votes. Platforms must own that and take concrete steps to combat it.
Simply rolling out the same inadequate policies weeks before the midterm elections is not only insufficient – it is dangerous and irresponsible. But there is still time for them to act and avoid a repeat of the disaster that was 2020.
We urge these companies to act quickly to address the serious gaps in their existing civic integrity policies and stem the flood of election disinformation coursing through their platforms.
To read the full letter, click here.
To read the May 12 letter, click here.