U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro has joined a coalition of social organizations that demand social media platforms to regulate misinformation, conspiracy theories, and fake news targeting the Spanish-speaking population during the electoral process.
The group is called Spanish Language Disinformation Coalition and they published a press release warning “the lethal devastation that can follow the proliferation of online hate, particularly on social media platforms, as well as the widespread misinformation and disinformation specifically targeting Latino audiences on said platforms.”
The group particularly remembers the El Paso shooting that occurred in 2019, in which a white supremacist deadly shooting spree at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, took the lives of 23 people and injured 23 more–making it one of the deadliest domestic terror attacks and deadliest hate crimes in U.S. history. Spanish Language Disinformation Coalition urged the necessity of creating strategies to stop the spread of anti-migrant discourse on social media.
The coalition also pointed out that misinformation in electoral processes heavily affects Spanish speaking communities that rely on YouTube and WhatsApp as their main source of information. The press release addressed the urgency of solving these problems in their final paragraph: We know that online platforms are not only spreading hate and lies about Latinos but also targeting our community with false information. There is less oversight of disinformation in Spanish and other non-English languages. Latino communities have been relentlessly targeted by online disinformation campaigns which include political fake news, human smuggling ads, COVID-19 conspiracies and lies about COVID vaccines. Platforms must do more to moderate this deeply harmful content.