Friday, May 27

Congressmen pressure Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok for misinformation affecting Latinos

The increase in misinformation towards Latinos on social networks is worrying.


The Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for a formal meeting with the CEOs of social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, to address disinformation directed at the Latino community on different topics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We write as members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to respectfully request a meeting with you, to discuss the issue of disinformation in Spanish on your platform, as well as learn more about the steps your company is taking to address this issue. so serious”, says each of the letters.

The letters express the same request in their first paragraph, but offer a context for each social network about its behavior, misinformation, and the universe of the Latino community they serve.

“Ending disinformation in Spanish must continue to be a priority. Many state and federal agencies, members of Congress, and public health organizations rely on social media to communicate vital information to save lives and share federal resources during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the congressmen led by Representative Raul Ruiz (California).

There are 38 members of Congress, representatives and senators, who sign the letters addressed to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook; Parag Agrawal of Twitter; YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki and TikTok’s Shou Zi Chew.

“This is not the first time that members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have expressed deep concern about this issue,” the members of the panel recall. “In July, congressmen spearheaded a letter signed by 26 members of Congress on this very issue demanding concrete evidence of investment to combat disinformation in Spanish on their platform.”

They also remind social networks and the YouTube portal of details about the strategy to detect the prevalence of “infringing” content separated by language.

They note that, to date, responses from all companies “are deeply concerning.”

The senator Bob Menéndez (New Jersey), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, recalled that he had joined this petition last year, focused on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the risks of allowing misinformation on the social network.

“Menéndez also criticized Facebook for its continued lack of transparency and asked the platform to publish data on misinformation about vaccines,” the senator’s office recalled in a statement.

It was also recalled that the Democrat has pressured that social network to provide information on different “misleading advertisements” that even incite hatred, such as PrEP aimed at the LGBTQ+ community.

“In most cases, Facebook’s responses lacked substantive information.”

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