Washington, D.C. — Today, the CEOs of three of the most prominent tech companies in the world appeared before members of two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees to respond to questions about widespread disinformation and the fomenting of extremism on their platforms. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter explained social media’s role in promoting extremism and misinformation.
The Center for American Progress is a co-chair of Change the Terms, a coalition of 60 civil rights and racial justice organizations working to push tech companies to combat online hate, as well as a leader of the #YaBastaFacebook campaign, a coalition of racial justice and platform accountability organizations demanding that Facebook fix its Spanish-language content moderation gap and adopt the Spanish Language Disinformation Action Plan. Leading organizations include CAP, Free Press, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the Real Facebook Oversight Board.
After the hearing, Adam Conner, vice president for Technology Policy at CAP, issued the following statement:
As we witnessed during and after the election, disinformation has a real-world impact on our democracy and contributed to the violent insurrection in the U.S. Capitol that had deadly consequences for five individuals. Today, the CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter failed to clearly address the issue of disinformation and online extremism that continues to put our democracy at risk and leave vulnerable communities in danger. Until big digital platforms make real and meaningful steps to prevent these harms and abuses, they can expect to find themselves in front of Congress many more times.
Jessica Cobian, senior campaign manager for Technology Policy at CAP, added:
In the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, Latinx people in the United States were flooded with false information. Even worse, these deceptive campaigns targeting the Latinx community have persisted long after Election Day, aiming to undermine the results of the election, erode trust in the new administration, and mislead our community about the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of the vaccines. During today’s hearing, Mark Zuckerberg failed to address the issue of Spanish-language disinformation on Facebook, making crystal clear that the real-world impact of disinformation and online hate targeting U.S. Spanish speakers is an afterthought for the platform. We continue to urge Facebook to adopt our Spanish Language Disinformation Action Plan. The issue of Spanish-language disinformation has been ignored by the platform for too long, and for that, we are saying #YaBastaFacebook.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at gro.ssergorpnacirema@sonicetnomc.