March 19, 2021
JESSICA COBIAN, CARMEN SCURATO, BRENDA V. CASTILLO
Colorlines: 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 continued long after Election Day, aiming to undermine the results of the election, erode trust in the new administration, and mislead our community about dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic; and the ecacy of the vaccines.
While Facebook attempts to paint Spanish-language moderation as an issue that impacts only Spanish speakers in other parts of the globe, the reality is that in the United States more than 40 million people speak Spanish at home, giving our nation the second-largest Spanish speaking population in the world.
As civil rights and consumer-protection advocates, we have publicly shared our concerns with Facebook about rampant U.S. Spanish-language disinformation and hateful activities on the platform, and we are deeply disappointed to have our concerns largely–and continuously–ignored. Thus, soon, there will be an opportunity for accountability. Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 25th. There, he must address the issue of Facebook’s U.S. Spanish-language disinformation and hateful activities, and publicly identify an executive-level manager to oversee U.S. Spanish-language content moderation.