April 25, 2022
A Statement by Brenda V. Castillo, President & CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition
Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla Founder, has yet again exploited his privilege as a billionaire to purchase and take over Twitter, subject only to a shareholder vote following Twitter’s board’s approval. As we continue to see hate and disinformation multiply on online platforms, NHMC is concerned that Musk’s control of Twitter will reverse content moderation practices meant to protect the public from harm.
As the richest man in the world, Musk was eager to use his leverage and wealth to circumvent content moderation practices. His previous attempt to control Twitter by becoming a majority shareholder did not allow for the autonomy he wished for, so he used his immense net worth to silence opposition and acquire Twitter for around $44 billion in cash.
As we inch closer to the 2022 midterm elections, the Latino community continues to be a target for disinformation, hate, harassment, and conspiracy theories. However, Musk’s potential disregard of his responsibility to – in good faith– remove such harmful conduct could likely lead to the endangerment of the public and marginalized groups such as Latinx. Musk ignores how unregulated disinformation has led to fear and hate campaigns that resulted in real-world violence, such as the El Paso Massacre and the January 6 Insurrection.
Today is another day in our nation where the benefactors of privilege and systemic inequality have flexed their financial muscle – and today’s takeover could pave the way for the continuous exploitation of historically and intentionally underrepresented people on social media. It is disheartening to see the power of immense wealth exercised with such a blatant disregard for the marginalized communities, all for profit. NHMC believes that social media platforms must adequately use their authority to remove dangerous content that is harmful to its users and the general public. Therefore, we condemn the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk and stand ready to hold him accountable as he poses a threat to our community, our safety, and our democracy.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition