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Social Media Platforms Must Confront 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 following Elon Musk’s announcement that Twitter will not reinstate accounts or establish major content moderation terms until the company’s new content moderation board is convened:

“Our vote is our voice, but there are forces that want to mislead and intimidate voters to silence that voice. Election workers are also the target of online harassment and threats. With Election Day less than a week away and with many people already voting, social media platforms are failing to stop the spread of misinformation and online harassment. Worse still, we have seen powerful people spreading misinformation and refusing to speak out against hate and harassment this election season. Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, he has shared false content and misinformation and cut key positions in the company focused on building trust and safety on the platform. Democracy is on the ballot, and with misinformation prevalent across all platforms, now is the time to ensure Musk and companies like Twitter take the threat seriously and take action to stop it.

“Most platforms already have policies in place to address election misinformation, but they are not consistently enforced. As a result, misinformation stories about voting procedures and policies continue to proliferate online, disrupting our democracy. From false claims of voter fraud to lies about how to vote for citizens who don’t speak English, there are real threats that social media platforms can prevent or mitigate to support a full and fair vote.

“With proper oversight, accountability, transparency, and protections, platforms can be useful tools that promote strong democracy instead of eroding it. Twitter, Meta, YouTube, TikTok and other major platforms as well as smaller platforms must recognize the serious responsibility that comes with running these platforms and take swift action to immediately curb election misinformation.

The Leadership Conference, along with major civil rights and public interest groups, sent a letter urging platforms to take immediate action to tackle misinformation and misinformation 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 people in the United States. The Leadership Conference works for an America that lives up to its ideals. For more information about the Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

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