Redwood City, CA (October 12, 2023) — After Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, the escalating war has prompted the world to seek the latest information to make sense of what is happening. Social media platforms, especially X led by Elon Musk, are too often unable and/or unwilling to stop the spread of misinformation and that is making a tragic and complex situation even harder. This must change. Today, Lexi Reese, U.S. Senate candidate, proposed a series of steps Congress could take to curb the monetization of misinformation.
“The propagation of misinformation and profiteering off that, especially on X formerly known as Twitter, is compounding the tragedy and thwarting our efforts to defeat terror, find peace and protect all children. Elon Musk has removed many of the safety features that were preventing this type of misinformation and hate speech in favor of monetization. We know a group of 67 X accounts spread coordinated disinformation about the Israel-Hamas war and Elon is directly recommending sites whose statements about the war have been debunked,” said Reese. “Social media can be good, but is now being utilized as a weapon of war. Shame on all leaders who know this is happening and have done nothing to stop it. It’s long past time for Congress to regulate social media.”
Reese calls on Congress to regulate social media, specifically:
- Create a separate not-for-profit war news feed for public utility where no data is sold for monetization.
- All posts must be labeled as verified, unverified or editorial or opt-in.
- Any companies in breach will forgo revenue collection until the breach is corrected. All revenue generated goes to humanitarian relief for the crisis aided and abetted by the misinformation.
Reese has highlighted the failure of Congress to get out ahead of critical issues such as stabilized childcare costs, contraceptive care, regulating AI, climate change, gun violence, income inequality and much more.
“We need new leadership that will bring innovative, actionable and fast action to drive better outcomes. The same old Washington playbook is not only not working for us, in the case of unchecked social media, it is actively aiding an escalating humanitarian crisis unfolding on our social media feeds.”