Oct 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Poynter expanding fight against Spanish-language misinformation

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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Poynter's digital literacy project MediaWise is broadening its training to battle online misinformation in Spanish.

Why it matters: Per a Nielsen report last year, Latinos spend more time than other groups on most social media apps and messaging, where poorly sourced information can go viral and Spanish-language misinformation often sits unchallenged.

  • Only in recent months have advocacy groups been aggressive in the fight.

Details: MediaWise is offering a 10-day WhatsApp course, an online course and a YouTube video series for Spanish speakers on how to spot misinformation and what to do about it.

  • In mid-November, MediaWise is scheduled to speak to newly-elected Latino elected officials who will have won their Nov. 8 elections and will be providing them with tips on spotting misinformation and the dangers it poses.
  • The project has also started Find Facts Fast — a free text message course helping voters spot online/social media election misinformation.

The MediaWise en Español program, supported by the Google News Initiative, is trying to build off the nonprofit's effective digital media literacy program for senior citizens.

  • Noticias Telemundo is a partner in the Spanish-language project.

Zoom out: An analysis of the 2020 election by the Latino research firm Equis, reviewed by Axios, found YouTube played a significant role in convincing some Latino voters to support former President Trump in higher percentages than expected.

  • Equis' Carlos Odio said many targeted Spanish-language videos posted on YouTube purporting to be news analyses coming from Latin America were filled with misinformation.

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