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fact check

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Fact-checkers say social media companies’ inaction on multilingual fake news fuels racism, threatens democracy

  • An uptick in misinformation targeting immigrant communities leading up to this year’s midterm elections has multilingual fact-checkers working overtime to debunk false narratives.
  • “There’s definitely a hyper-targeting of messaging,” said Viet Fact Check co-founder Nick Nguyen. “This is where a lack of English-language fluency can make populations vulnerable.”
  • Desifacts, a project of the advocacy group Indian American Impact, began publishing explainers on relevant topics focusing on South Asian American communities in Hindi, Bengali and Tamil this year.
  • Nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice has also been tracking messaging trends on social media to investigate and counter disinformation campaigns before the November elections.
  • “Tech companies, social media platforms, and politicians alike need to take more concrete actions to protect Asian American communities from mis/disinformation in their native languages; content in different languages cannot continue to be treated as a 'foreign' problem," the organization pointed out.

Multilingual fact-checkers are fighting back against misinformation spreading via social media platforms in the lead-up to this year’s midterm elections.

But as false narratives continue to thrive online despite their efforts, these groups are now calling on top social media platforms to do more in combating misinformation in languages other than English.