Q: What Can We Do to Limit Misinformation During the Midterms?



Deputy director of external affairs at Media Matters for America

As we inch closer to the 2022 midterms, misinformation researchers must once again do the job of billion-dollar social media platforms like YouTube that fail to stop the spread of content aimed at undermining the U.S. electoral system. It's hard to believe, but in 2020, YouTube didn't even announce a policy against election misinformation until a month after the election, putting it behind its already lackluster peers. Although it has put out a policy for the 2022 midterms, this policy must be strengthened, robustly enforced, and, in particular, vigorously applied to Spanish-language content.

Just last month, Media Matters identified Spanish-language videos containing blatant 2020 election misinformation that stayed on the platform for nearly two years and has been viewed millions of times. In 2022, this kind of misinformation must be identified and removed immediately to prevent its spread.

Additionally, earlier this month, YouTube finally released some limited data on videos that were removed for breaking its misinformation policies. We need more of this information, and it needs to go more in-depth. Notably, it did not give information on Spanish-language violations, which YouTube -- and all other platforms--must treat just as seriously as misinformation in English.


Campaign manager at Free Press

Social and traditional media play integral roles in the misinformation ecosystem. But sometimes that role is problematic because the spread of falsehoods attracts eyeballs and profits. With the 2022 elections quickly approaching, multiple sectors have a role to play--from policymakers pushing for digital civil rights to social media companies mitigating harm on their platforms, to traditional media covering electoral issues and "prebunking" lies that disenfranchise voters.

At Free...

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