June 8, 2023
Photo: HD Tech
Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) released the following statement in response to YouTube’s decision that it would no longer remove false election claims on its platform.
As President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), an organization steadfast in its mission to ensure that media serves as a tool for inclusivity, education, and progress, I feel a deep sense of disappointment regarding YouTube's recent policy change.
In a move that has left us at NHMC feeling frustrated, YouTube has decided to no longer take down content that propagates the denial of the 2020 election's legitimacy. This policy change comes despite the fact that we, alongside other voices from the civil rights community, had earlier engaged with them in discussions cautioning the dangers of such widespread disinformation. While YouTube's stated goals of protecting its community and fostering open discussion are commendable, their recent policy change raises serious concerns about the potential unchecked spread of disinformation on their platform.
In this digital era, YouTube's reach is immense. And sadly, its new policy opens the door to disinformation that can fan the flames of violence, sow seeds of distrust in our democracy, and interfere with fair elections. The consequences of disinformation can be severe and, at times, irreversible and even deadly. The Latinx community, alongside other marginalized communities, often find themselves at the brunt of these negative impacts.
NHMC has consistently emphasized the importance of holding platforms accountable for their role in moderating content, particularly as it pertains to hate speech, extremism, and disinformation. We believe that platforms can, and should, create an environment that fosters freedom of speech while actively mitigating the spread of harmful disinformation.
Our fight against disinformation is ongoing and multifaceted. As such, we urge YouTube to reconsider this policy change and employ more proactive strategies in combating disinformation. We firmly believe in a balanced approach - a place between shutting down all discussion and letting dangerous disinformation run wild.
In an era of widespread disinformation, it is incumbent on platforms like YouTube to ensure the accurate dissemination of information to the public. We strongly believe they can find a balanced approach to uphold democratic dialogue without compromising the safety and integrity of their platform. We remain hopeful that YouTube will continue to work towards this delicate balance.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition