For Immediate Release: April 27, 2022
Contact: Christina DiPasquale, [email protected], 202.716.1953
This week, Twitter’s Board of Directors agreed to sell the social media platform to Elon Musk, a self-described free-speech absolutist and open critic of content moderation on social media platforms, in a roughly $44 billion deal. Musk bought out the company’s shareholders and reports indicate that he may take the platform private.
MediaJustice, a national racial justice hub fighting for a future in which all people of color are connected, represented, and free, has advocated directly with social media executives for changes to reduce hate and lies on their platforms. As a founding member of the Change the Terms coalition, MediaJustice has spent years pushing for Twitter and others to take concrete steps to fix their algorithm, enforce their policies equally and increase public transparency.
Myaisha Hayes, campaign strategies director at MediaJustice, said:
“Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is a power grab to control public discourse–another billionaire propping himself up as the solution to problems created by the super rich that increase inequality, sow division and shape the narrative in ways that marginalize Black and brown voices and disrupt our digital organizing.
“The strides that Twitter has made in their policies against vaccine misinformation, harassment, abuse and hateful activity–including their decision to permanently ban Donald Trump from the platform–are at risk of being reversed with Musk at the helm, further harming Black, brown Indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities.
“The executives of social media platforms have repeatedly put profits over people when it comes to allowing hate and lies to be spread and amplified on their sites. Congress must take action and rein in Big Tech to stop the toll it is taking on our lives, our health and our democracy.
“Platforms like Twitter should be radically democratized and treated like the integral public infrastructure that they are in our lives. We urge greater investment in efforts to develop alternative modes of connection and public discourse like those of our network members Detroit Community Technology Project and May First Movement Technology and Progressive Technology Project. We are creating our own mesh networks, uplifting our own cultural narratives, and fighting back against the digital targeting of our communities.”
MediaJustice is dedicated to building a grassroots movement for a more just and participatory media—fighting for racial, economic, and gender justice in a digital age. MediaJustice boldly advances communication rights, access, and power for communities harmed by persistent dehumanization, discrimination and disadvantage. Home of the #MediaJusticeNetwork, comprised of more than 100 grassroots partners, we envision a future where everyone is connected, represented, and free.