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Election groups put Threads on notice for election disinformation

As companies weigh allowing election disinformation amid censorship concerns, groups are calling on Meta to block the spread of disinformation.
Election groups put Threads on notice for election disinformation
Posted at 9:02 AM, Jul 27, 2023

A collection of election groups recently sent a letter to Meta encouraging the social media company to battle election-related disinformation. 

The letter was sent as Meta launched its new competitor to Twitter called Threads, which has garnered 118 million users in a matter of weeks, according to Quiver Quantitative. 

The groups, including and When We All Vote, also accuse YouTube and Twitter of allowing election disinformation to "thrive" on their platforms. 

"In the absence of strong protections for election integrity and for voters, we have seen real-world fallout, from the siege on the Capitol to a new swarm of voter suppression laws introduced in states around the country after the 2020 election," the groups wrote to Meta. "As Threads builds its audience, it is incumbent that you make it clear that the platform will not be a place where baseless conspiracies and unverified reports are allowed to proliferate."

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But their concerns come as social media networks have been cutting staff. Twitter and Meta have both had massive amounts of layoffs in the last year. 

The platforms have also faced criticism for censoring speech. 

In response, Google-owned YouTube said it would not take down videos that may contain election misinformation. 

"In the current environment, we find that while removing this content does curb some misinformation, it could also have the unintended effect of curtailing political speech without meaningfully reducing the risk of violence or other real-world harm," YouTube said. "With that in mind, and with 2024 campaigns well underway, we will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past US Presidential elections."

YouTube added that videos that intentionally mislead voters about the time, place, means or eligibility requirements for voting would not be allowed. 

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