Volunteer Spotlight: Cesar Ruiz and combatting misinformation in his role at Twitter

Volunteer Spotlight: Cesar Ruiz and combatting misinformation in his role at Twitter

Sometimes in your life, if you’re lucky, you have a job that impacts you in ways you never imagined. Sometimes, your work informs how you see the world, how you interact with it, and how you think about yourself, your community, and others, both now and in the future.

Cesar Ruiz has one of those jobs.

Helping to tell the story

As a Product Marketing Manager for Twitter, Cesar focuses on all things to do with elections and misleading information. Part of his job is “telling the story about the work Twitter is doing to protect our elections and the public conversation.” 

A wide-open platform, Twitter has a scope and reach that’s a two-sided coin: one side enables a global conversation with many voices, the other, unfortunately, enables bad actors to take advantage of volatile situations. It’s that darker side that Cesar and his team also address.  

“We make it easier for people to find trusted information,” he explains. “There’s always going to be some bad actor who wants to take advantage of events and exploit people’s emotions and sway their opinions.” And during this unprecedented time with a global pandemic and deep social unrest, Cesar admits his job is very challenging.

“Twitter isn’t all that big of a company and there’s always so much going on, not just in our country but all around the world. Our focus requires a global perspective, not just a national one.” 

No surprise, given his work and given these times, that Cesar found himself thinking about how he personally could make a difference. A Lake County native, he left San Francisco for Santa Rosa during the pandemic and started to look for ways he could be more involved in changing our world.  

Partnering with the Sonoma Democrats

He joined Sonoma Dems in early summer with not much understanding of what the local Democratic Party did. “I was excited to learn about policy issues and the endorsement process, so when they reached out to me about joining the Communications Committee, I jumped in.” He found that the Communications team is all about telling a compelling story about how people can get involved.

“We all want to figure out how we can make a difference, but a lot of people don’t know how,” he says. So the team started by talking about improving accessibility via the Sonoma Dems website and came up with a streamlined interface that helps people get started. Today, visitors will find three simple starting points: Learn More, which helps keep people informed; Donate, for those who don’t have much time but can give money; and Volunteer, for those who can give time and energy. 

Tackling misinformation

Once the website was squared away, Cesar and his Communications team members focused on something he knows all too well: clearing up confusion resulting from misinformation.  

“We wanted to clear up the confusion about mail-in voting,” he explains. “How do we create a campaign to give people the steps they need to take to get their ballots, figure out the issues, and ultimately vote? And how do we harness the energy younger people have right now for protests? We realized we have an opportunity to make our website more fun, so we started there, and you’ll see the results over the next few weeks on the website and our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts.”  

Cesar really enjoys the work he’s doing for Sonoma Dems. “Like in my job, I want to have a net positive effect in my community and my county.” And that’s work Cesar is committed to doing long after this election is over.  

“When you think of all the problems this country is facing—fires, social justice, economic disparity—a lot of those aren’t going to go away even if Trump does. Our work is about fulfilling Joe Biden’s focus: Building Back Better.”