Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

How right-wing immigration misinformation is reaching Spanish-language speakers

By 37ci3 Feb17,2024



Most of the Spanish-language misinformation about immigration that Latinos see on social media or hear on the radio seems to be lies spread by right-wing media outlets In English, according to two groups that track misinformation in Spanish.

Researchers tracking Spanish-language disinformation found that anti-immigrant rhetoric and false stories, Senate border security and foreign assistance bill gained interest in recent weeks. Misinformation and lies continued to trickle into the Spanish language even afterward border security provisions that would be it Funded federal immigration agencies stepped up arrest and deportation efforts removed from bilateral legislationleft behind provisions only regarding assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

In the weeks since the bill was debated, researchers have seen an increase in posts promoting anti-immigration narratives such as the “great replacement” theory, which claims Democrats are promoting immigration. a conspiracy to wipe out the white raceAccording to Randy Abreu, a policy consultant National Hispanic Media Coalition, a Latino media nonprofit. In general, disinformation provides false or inaccurate information by grossly misrepresenting the facts.

“We’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg … It’s concerning,” he told NBC News. Abreu leads the nonprofit organization Hispanic Disinformation Coalitionconsists of at least six organizations that conduct general monitoring of disinformation in the Spanish language.

Sergio Muñoz, vice president of research and policy at Media Matters, a left-leaning nonprofit media watchdog founded by political consultant David Brock, also leads a team of researchers tracking counter-immigration stories in English. and Spanish.

Muñoz told NBC News that the group’s overall assessment is that the misinformation in Spanish about immigration is “largely an echo of what we’ve seen in English,” particularly the “reactions to the border bill and the subsequent fallout” from it.

Media Matters has detailed some of the misinformation circulating in the English language in two recent reports Fox News and others conservative media outlets and personalities around border security and the foreign aid bill. These include false claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies before the bill’s text was even published. the legislation would allow 5,000 migrants to cross illegally Other false statements from lawmakers and conservative media personalities who tout the bill every day at the southern border would have codified “occupation” and “mass amnesty”.

The bill does not include a provision that would legalize any undocumented people in the country or allow large numbers of migrants to enter.

Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

Based on their monitoring efforts, Abreu said they have seen very few Spanish-language posts on social media aimed at spreading these lies about the border bill. Regardless of whether the comments are widely viewed or not, Abreu said, this rhetoric resonates with some Spanish-speaking Latinos.

Abreu said his organization mostly found posts on social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Twitter spreading anti-immigrant lies like the “great replacement” theory.

The posts contained a “significant amount of commentary” in Spanish that made direct reference to misinformation appearing in English, particularly about allowing 5,000 illegal migrant crossings a day, he said.

A TikTok spokesperson told NBC News that the platform uses “automated technology, user reports, proactive searches and trending reports from experts.” to detect disinformation in different languages, but “this year we will continue to deepen our work with disinformation experts in Spanish.” The company also said that its partner several fact-checking organizations whom Leading Stories covers misinformation in Spanish.

According to YouTube, its “community guidelines apply to all content on the platform in any language, including Spanish.” Guidelines “include policies”hatred and aggression, harmful or dangerous actionsor promotion of human trafficking services.” In addition, the company said their system “highlights content from reputable sources” in its recommendations and search results, including Spanish-language news outlets such as Telemundo and Univision.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric has also resonated with users on Meta’s social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. according to Media Matters report Last week, the company made at least $397,500 from 450 anti-immigration ads that ran on its platform between October and February. The ads included terms such as “occupy,” “occupy,” “occupy,” “occupy,” or “occupy” to describe U.S. immigration, and together garnered at least 15.5 million impressions. The report states that the vast majority of the ads came from conservative groups.

Meta said the ads were analyzed in a Media Matters report don’t break it their community and advertising standards. The company also said that its partner About 100 independent fact-checking organizations who in the world review and rate Viral disinformation in over 60 languages, including English and Spanish.

Media Matters also provided NBC News with additional examples of how false narratives about the defunct border bill were spread by two people. Radio broadcasts in Spanish in South Florida.

Media Matters researchers found that some conservative pundits on these shows repeated false claims that the border bill would lead to mass migrant crossings and falsely suggested that President Joe Biden could solve border problems on his own — rendering the bill redundant and Biden only using the upcoming is trying to act on the issue now because of the elections.

“This is factually incorrect,” Muñoz said. “It was a talking point that easily went from English to Spanish.”

Advocacy non-profit organization American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Associationa volunteer organization released brief political analysis in English explaining what the bill is and making no effort to counter some of this immigration misinformation.

Greg Chen, AILA’s director of government relations, told NBC News during a call with reporters last week that even Biden contributed to the misinformation when he responded to criticism that House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., suggested the bill would be passed to him. “new emergency authority to close the border.”

According to AILA’s analysis, this is not true. The bill would have given the Biden administration the ability to “rapidly deport asylum seekers,” resulting in “deprivation of people’s ability to seek asylum,” Chen explained.

“The lack of clear information on the issue means that the debate is no longer about politics and facts,” he added.

Who controls disinformation?

Given that content moderation efforts are “less strict in Spanish than in English” on many platforms, Muñoz said he expects “a proliferation and concentration of misinformation that could be avoided simply by equalizing Spanish language moderation.” with moderation in English.”

Meta told NBC News how many content moderators the company has, not 2023 company report As of September of their activity in the European Union, they have at least 163 Spanish-language moderators and 109 English-language content moderators. In their reports, the company said it has “additional content reviewers” in other regions for both languages, but did not specify how many. Meta told NBC News that it plans to launch a Spanish-language fact-checking tip line on WhatsApp, expanding its capacity to counter misinformation in Spanish-speaking communities that use the platform.

In similar company reports on its European Union operations, X said it was new as of October 20 content moderators with linguistic expertise in Spanish, compared to 2,294 content moderators with linguistic expertise in English. There was TikTok 468 Spanish-language content moderators and 2,137 English-language content moderators as of September. YouTube reported 507 people manage content in Spanish Against 15,142 people managing content in English as of September. Neither company told NBC News how many content moderators it has in the United States

“It’s definitely a threat,” Abreu said. “The reason it’s still relevant today is because very little has been done in terms of content moderation, live fact-checking,” especially in Spanish.

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