Menendez Joins Congressional Hispanic Caucus In Requesting Meetings With Social Media CEOs To Discuss Spanish-Language Misinformation

Press Release

U.S. Senator Bob Menéndez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) in calling on the Chief Executive Officers of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok to meet with the Caucus to discuss concerns with Spanish-language misinformation on the platforms and the steps the companies are taking to address this problem. Sen. Menendez and his CHC colleagues have previously expressed concerns about the impact of Spanish-language misinformation on the Latino community during committee hearings and letters seeking information.

"Addressing Spanish-language misinformation must remain an urgent priority. Many federal and state agencies, Members of Congress, and public health organizations rely on social media platforms to communicate life-saving health information and share federal resources during the COVID-19 pandemic," wrote the members to social media CEOs at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. "…This is not the first time members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are expressing deep concern on this issue. Many Members have publicly raised the alarm on the spread of Spanish-language misinformation online…As Hispanic Members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight of the role digital platforms play in how we communicate with our communities and how our communities receive important information. Ensuring Spanish-language misinformation is swiftly and effectively addressed is a priority, and we respectfully ask for a meeting to discuss solutions to the problem of Spanish-language misinformation on your platform."
Last summer, Sen. Menendez and colleagues sent a similar letter to big tech CEOs regarding COVID-19 vaccine Spanish-language misinformation on their platforms. Around the same time, Sen. Menendez also slammed Facebook for its continued lack of transparency and called on the platform to release data on vaccine misinformation. Over the course of several years, the Senator has sent letters to Facebook requesting detailed information on topics from firearm sales on Facebook Marketplace to misleading PrEP ads targeting the LGBTQ+ community and hate speech, just to name a few. In most cases, Facebook's responses lacked any substantive information.

The letters were led by CHC Chairman Raul Ruiz, M.D. and in addition to Sen. Menendez, it was signed by Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.-44), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13), Darren Soto (D-Fla.-09), Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.-03), Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.29), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.-07), Jim Costa (D-Calif.-16), Norma Torres (D-Calif.-35), Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.-32), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.-14), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.34), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.-03), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.-07), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas-16), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas-20), Filemon Vela (D-Texas-34), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (D-Ill.-04), Sylvia R. Garcia (D-Texas-29), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.-40).