August 15, 2022
Facebook, social media companies urge US groups to act against election propaganda

Social media companies including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok must now take action to blunt the impact of misinformation – including Donald Trump’s “big lie” that his 2020 defeat was the result of fraud – on this year’s in the US midterm congressional elections, rights groups said on Thursday.

In a letter to social media executives, social media platforms endorsed policies designed to fight election propaganda after the 2020 presidential race won by US Democratic President Joe Biden, led by Common Cause from over 100 More advocacy groups said in a letter to social media executives.

Citing research and public reporting, he said a surge of disinformation led to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of then-President Trump, and that the propaganda continues to grow.

A letter signed by over 100 groups led by Common Cause and sent to CEOs read, “High-profile disinformation and other bad actors are using social media platforms to spread messages that undermine confidence in elections.”

“Candidates are using Big Lie as a platform to declare voter fraud to dispute the results of the 2022 election,” he wrote. “It is harming American democracy by undermining confidence in the integrity of our elections.”

The letter, also sent to the CEOs of Google, Instagram and Snap, urged companies to take steps including prioritizing fact-checking and providing real-time access to data to outside researchers and monitors.

The letter said priority should be given to fighting the “Big Lie” that voter fraud cost Trump the White House in 2020.

The groups also called for greater transparency on political advertisements, enforcement practices and algorithmic models.

Others signatories include the Voting Rights and Election Integrity Group as well as the Center for American Progress, the League of Women Voters, Greenpeace, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Arab American Institute.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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