Social Media Platforms Must Address Urgent Threat of Election Disinformation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]
WASHINGTON — Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after Elon Musk’s announcement that Twitter will not reinstate accounts or make major content moderation conditions before the company’s new content moderation council is convened:
“Our vote is our voice, but there are forces who want to mislead and intimidate voters to silence that voice. Election workers are also targets of online harassment and threats. With less than one week until Election Day and with many people already voting, social media platforms are failing to stop the spread of disinformation and online harassment. Even worse, we have seen powerful people spread disinformation and refuse to denounce hate and harassment this election season. Since Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, he has shared false content and disinformation and has eliminated essential positions in the company focused on building trust and safety on the platform. Democracy is on the ballot, and with disinformation rife across platforms, now is the time to make sure that Musk and companies like Twitter are taking the threat seriously and taking action to stop it.
“Most platforms already have policies in place to address voting disinformation, but they are not consistently enforced. As a result, disinformation narratives about voting procedures and policies continue to proliferate online, disrupting our democracy. From false claims of election fraud to lies about how to vote for citizens who do not speak English, there are real threats social media platforms can prevent or mitigate to support full and fair voting.
“With proper oversight, accountability, transparency, and protections, platforms can be helpful tools that promote a strong democracy instead of eroding it. Twitter, Meta, YouTube, TikTok, and other major platforms and also smaller platforms must acknowledge the serious responsibility that comes with managing these platforms and take swift action to curb election disinformation immediately.”
The Leadership Conference, along with leading civil rights and public interest groups, sent a letter urging platforms to take immediate steps to address misinformation and disinformation ahead of the election.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.