John Oliver threw a jab at the spread of misinformation among the immigrant diaspora in the U.S., including the Vietnamese community, in an episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
The misinformation disease: In the episode, which aired on Oct. 11, Oliver said the spread of misinformation among the immigrant community was fueled by the lack of platforms that deliver reliable and accurate news in their languages, according to VN Express.
- “For many older Vietnamese Americans, there is such a vacuum of credible news channels that broadcast in Vietnamese,” he said. “Many turn to YouTube for their news, with certain channels on in their houses 24/7.”
- Oliver highlighted Nguy Vu, the host of “King Radio,” who delivers misleading information about mask mandates, Joe Biden, conspiracy theories and more on his show. The British American host even went on to compare Nguy Vu to well-known American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was banned from YouTube and other social media platforms in 2018, VOX reported.
- “While Alex Jones has been removed from YouTube for spreading misinformation,” Oliver said, “King Radio is still going strong on the platform despite the fact you just heard him say ‘masks are killing people,’ which clearly violates YouTube’s ban on claims that wearing a mask is dangerous.”
- The King Radio YouTube channel has been taken down from the platform due to Oliver’s comments, with some videos being reuploaded, according to Bao Cali Today.
- The spread of misinformation is also prevalent in other immigrant diasporas in the country, such as the Cuban, Venezuelan, South African and Indian communities, to name a few.
Battle against inaccurate information: Oliver highlighted Viet Fact Check and The Interpreter, two Vietnamese American organizations currently taking the misinformation problem among their community head-on.
- Viet Fact Check, a project by the Progressive Vietnamese American Organization (PIVOT), aims to “empower Vietnamese Americans with fact-checked, source-verified analysis and rebuttals in English and Vietnamese to combat the onslaught of misinformation that is circulating widely in our Vietnamese American communities.”
- The Interpreter, a news aggregator site that translates English articles into Vietnamese, is a project that aims to be a “conduit between Vietnamese generations, conveying facts and engaging the diaspora on relevant global issues,” its founders said.
- However, Oliver pointed out that these projects lack the resources to fight the massive spread of misleading information on social media. He also said platforms should do something about the growing misinformation problems, “whether they are English or not.”