US and Spanish Foreign Relations Committee Chairs Concerned About Disinformation and Misinformation in Spanish

March 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (DN.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committeewere joined by their Spanish counterparts Pau Mari Klose, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputiesand Antonio Gutierrez Limones, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committeeby issuing the statement below to express concerns about disinformation and misinformation in Spanish:

“We, the Chairs of the Foreign Relations Committees of the United States and Spain, express our deep concern over the spread and amplification of misinformation/disinformation in Spanish on social media and encrypted messaging platforms. in our respective countries and across Latin America and the Caribbean.

The spread of misleading, inaccurate, or false news through disinformation and misinformation activities has distorted and polarized information environments, causing significant real-world damage. Malicious actors, including some governments, have increasingly embraced such activities, undermining democratic governance, human rights and public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We deplore, in particular, the active participation of agents who engage in these practices from the territory of the Russian Federation or with the support of the Russian government, in addition to other destabilizing activities carried out by the Putin government outside its borders in recent years.

Disinformation/disinformation activities are present in traditional and digital media, and proliferate fastest and farther on social media and encrypted messaging platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp and Telegram.

Although Spanish has the second largest number of native speakers and is the fourth most spoken language in the world, these platforms have repeatedly prioritized the moderation of English content, not investing enough resources to countering equally harmful misinformation/misinformation in Spanish. Spanish-speaking populations in our two countries and in Latin America and the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to the effects of digital disinformation as they rely heavily on these platforms as their main sources of information and communication.

We call on these platforms to meet their obligations to users and urge them to redouble their efforts to increase the detection and repression of disinformation/disinformation content in Spanish and other languages, and to increase the transparency of these efforts.

We also urge the governments of President Joe Biden and President Pedro Sánchez to undertake additional efforts to combat disinformation/misinformation in Spanish, including bringing together stakeholders from multiple sectors to share knowledge and best practices, develop coordinated responses and strengthen vulnerable information environments, while maintaining respect for the internationally recognized right to freedom of expression”.

The joint statement was signed by:





Bob Menendez (DNJ)

President

External Relations Committee

Senate

United States

Pau Mari Klose

President

Foreign Affairs Committee

House of Representatives

Spain

Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.)

President

Foreign Affairs Committee

House of Representatives

United States

Antonio Gutierrez Limones

President

Foreign Affairs Committee

Senate

Spain

###

Los Presidentes de los Comités de Asuntos Exteriores de Estados Unidos y España Recalcan su Preocupación sobre la Desinformación e Información Tergiversada en Medios en Español

WASHINGTON – El Senador Bob Menéndez (DN.J.), president of the Committee of Relaciones Exteriores del Senado, there el Congresista Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.-05), president of the Comité de Asuntos Exteriores de la Cámara de Representanteshoy fueron acompañados por sus homologos españoles Pau Marí-Klose, President of the Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores del Congreso de los Diputadosthere Antonio Gutiérrez Limones, President of the Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores del Senadoin publicar la siguiente declaración conjunta expresando su preocupación por la misinformación y la información tergiversada en español:

“Nosotros, los presidentes de los Comités de Asuntos Exteriores de Estados Unidos y España, expresses our deep concern for the dissemination and amplification of distintas de misinformación e información tergiversada en el español en las redes sociales y las plataformas de mensajería encriptada en nostros respectivos países y en toda América Latina y el Caribe.

The dissemination of distorted, inaccurate, or false reports has led to misinformation and tergiversated reporting activities, distorted and polarized misreporting, causing considerable damage to the real world. Agentes maliciosos, incluyendo algunos gobiernos extranjeros, han adopted de modo cada vez más frecuente estas prácticas, poniendo en riesgo la democracia, el respeto por los derechos humanos, y las respuestas a la pandemia de COVID-19. We deplore, in particular, the active participation of agents that operate outside the territory of the Federación rusa o con apoyo del gobierno ruso en este type de prácticas, que se suman a otras actividades de desestabilización emprendidas por el gobierno de Putin en los últimos años fuera de above fronteras.

Las actividades de misinformación e información tergiversada tienen lugar en los media tradicionales y digitales, and proliferate more extensively and more quickly in las social networks and las platforms of encrypted mensajería como Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp y Telegram.

Aunque el Español es la secunda lengua mother del mundo y el cuarto idioma más hablado, estas plataformas priorizan la moderación de contents en inglés, sans invertir suficientes recursos para abordar expressions de misinformación e información tergiversada en contenidos en español, les cuales son igualmente igualmente dañinas. Hispanohablantes en nuestros dos países y en toda América Latina y el Caribe are particularly vulnerable to the effects of misinformation and tergiversada digital information because they trust in great media in these platforms as above all main sources of news and communication.

Hacemos un llamamiento a estas plataformas para que cumplan con sus obligaciones con sus usuarios y les instamos a redoblar sus esfuerzos para reforzar los mechanisms de tección y control de contenidos que propaganda misinformación e información errónea en español y en otros idiomas, así como para fortalecer la sober transparency dichos esfuerzos.

Also instamos a los gobiernos del Presidente Joe Biden y del Presidente Pedro Sánchez a realizar esfuerzos adicionales para contrarstar forms de misinformación e información tergiversada, lo que incluye convocar à las parties interésadas de los múltiples concerned sectors para compartir conocimientos y las mjores prácticas, desarrollar respuestas coordinates and fortalecer los entornos vulnerable, maintaining the respect for the derecho internationally recognized to the freedom of expression.

The declaration conjunta fue firmada por:





Bob Menendez (DN.J.)

President

External Relations Committee

Senado

United States

Pau Mari Klose

President

Committee of Asuntos Exteriores

Congress of Deputies

Spain

Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.-05)

President

Committee of Asuntos Exteriores

Camera of Representatives

United States

Antonio Gutierrez Limones

President

Committee of Asuntos Exteriores

Senado

Spain

###

press contact

Juan Pachon