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After Buffalo, Media and Tech Can’t Look Away Any Longer

This tragedy should be a catalyst to a fundamental reckoning.
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This week, the Change the Terms coalition, co-led by Free Press, launched the Fix the Feed campaign to pressure social-media companies to stop amplifying hate and disinformation in the runup to the midterm elections and beyond.

As in previous years, we know that foreign and domestic actors alike will push lies and hate to suppress the votes of people of color and undermine our democracy. This year, we’re more prepared than ever.

With the launch of this campaign alongside partners including the Center for American Progress, Color Of Change, Common Cause and the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, we’re pushing Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube to stop promoting bigotry and conspiracies, to enforce their rules in all languages, and to be transparent about how they moderate content.

Our campaign is demanding that social-media companies:

Three side-by-side images reading: "1. Fix the algorithm: stop promoting the most incendiary, hateful content; 2. Protect people equally: Staff up to protect democracy for all, across all languages; 3. Show us the receipts: Disclose your business models and moderation practices

What’s at stake

Free Press is deeply committed to fighting for free speech — and we want equitable freedom of speech for all. In recent years white supremacists and conspiracy theorists have harnessed social media to sow chaos and bigotry, and to undermine our pursuit of a just multiracial democracy. Tech companies put profit above all else — and have failed to prioritize civil rights and public safety.

In 2020, for instance, targeted online ads and other messaging discouraged Black and Latinx people from voting and participating in the U.S. Census. Meanwhile, white-supremacist militia groups were allowed to use social media to organize armed demonstrations, including the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Social media fueled coordinated harassment campaigns against innocent election workers, intended to intimidate them from carrying out their duties safely and with integrity. 

Companies like Meta, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube have a moral duty to address this and the harm it causes their users — especially users of color.

We know what lies ahead in 2022 — and we know that tech platforms must do everything they can to disrupt the spread of hate and anti-democratic disinformation. These companies aren’t just failing to remove or moderate this content. Companies like Facebook are actively amplifying hate and disinformation to make money.

If we’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s that these companies won’t act without immense public pressure. That’s where you come in. Sign our petition today demanding that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube #FixtheFeed.
 

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