Washington, D.C. – In a rapidly developing news cycle, Black and brown communities – particularly Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities – have been targeted with a range of disinformation campaigns intended to sow voter apathy, racial division, and hateful narratives. In the months and weeks leading up to Election Day, these campaigns have sought to discourage civic participation within communities of color spreading outright false information about the integrity of the election and voting system.
As part of efforts to combat disinformation leading up to Election Day, United We Dream Action has launched a WhatsApp group and a “Reclaim the Web” Instagram page to share culturally relevant, factual and non-partisan information and resources with our communities. This content includes resources on talking to family members who believe in dangerous conspiracy theories, as well as Spanish TikToks warning against conspiracy theories, and videos like ‘5 Things To Keep in Mind’ before correcting something your “tia” shared on social media. The content also includes useful information on voting in both English and Spanish, and a plethora of memes about voting by mail among other topics.
Meghna Mahadevan, Disinformation Defense Strategist of United We Dream Action, said:
“When immigrant youth of UWDA saw what their family members were sharing on social media, they took charge and created a program to reclaim the web. Communities of color, especially Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities, have been bombarded with racist disinformation coming from their local radio to ads on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Still, we have the power to disrupt disinformation. By reaching out to our communities and providing access to nuanced content rooted in facts – be it on WhatsApp, Instagram or even just at the dinner table – we can engage in dialogues with our families and community members that ultimately help mobilize one another to take action. Our goal is to stop the spread of disinformation while ensuring every voter has their vote counted.”
Our partners at PEN America also put together a great resource. The Reporters Guide To Covering The 2020 Election.