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Activists want social media platforms to censor Spanish-language “misinformation”

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Advocacy groups are claiming that social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, are not doing enough to tackle “misinformation” in Spanish, despite vowing to do so, The Guardian reported.

In a July 2021 letter, a group of lawmakers asked social media companies to do more to fight disinformation in Spanish.

“There is significant evidence that your Spanish-language moderation efforts are not keeping pace, with widespread accounts of viral content promoting human smuggling, vaccine hoaxes, and election misinformation,” the lawmakers wrote. “Congress has a moral duty to ensure that all social media users have the same access to truthful and trustworthy content regardless of the language they speak at home or use to communicate online.”

Over a year later and with the midterm elections looming, advocacy groups claim that social media companies have not done enough to police misinformation in Spanish and other non-English languages.

According to Ruiz Firmat, the executive director of racial justice nonprofit Kairos, failure to combat misinformation in Spanish equals aiding and abetting disenfranchisement, considering Latino voters are the second largest group of voters.

The activists say that misinformation in Spanish falls into two major categories, vaccines or health and politics. The most widespread “lie” is that Joe Biden was not the legitimate winner of the 2020 election.

Free Press and other civil rights groups claim they have been pushing social media companies to tackle misinformation in Spanish and other languages but the companies have not responded adequately.

Experts claim misinformation in Spanish continues to thrive because of the lack of investment from social media companies. These companies have not employed more moderators fluent in non-English languages and have not trained their algorithms in these languages.

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