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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Websites and apps more popular with Latinos in the U.S. than other groups make them more susceptible both to exposure to misinformation and to sharing it, according to a Nielsen report.

What’s happening: 28% of the content Latinos see on news websites they most frequently visit was flagged as biased, conspiracy-based or pseudoscientific.

  • That misinformation can affect health decisions and “undermine confidence in our democratic systems,” the report warns.
  • Nielsen also cautions that moderated content on social platforms and traditional or algorithmic fact-checking can miss the false information since much of the content shared is in Spanish or Spanglish.

By the numbers: Nielsen highlights how Latinos spend more time on most social media apps and messaging services, where poorly sourced information can go viral.

  • Instagram reaches 69% of Latinos between 18-23 years old frequently, compared to 53% for other 18+ adults in the U.S.
  • Snapchat also has a greater reach: 50% of young adult Latinos, in contrast to 29% of the general adult U.S. population. 
  • And Hispanics use WhatsApp 27% more, Telegram 7% more, and both Discord and Twitter up to 6% more frequently.

What they’re saying: Platforms “that have a higher composition of Latinos in their consumption audience had more presentation of content” that is biased or dubious, Stacie de Armas, senior vice president for diverse consumer insights at Nielsen, told NBC News.

  • "So essentially, if you're white, your chances are lower of seeing that kind of content than if you're Hispanic."

Of note: The Nielsen study also looked at the representation of diverse Latino communities across TV and streaming and found that it is “largely driven” by Spanish-language content.

  • Around 10% of programming has at least one Latino character across TV, but when Spanish content is excluded the number drops to just 6%.

Go deeper: Government Accountability Office hits media for lacking Latinos

Get more news that matters about Latinos in the hemisphere, delivered right to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign up for the Axios Latino newsletter.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Podcasts

Latino home ownership is on the rise

Almost 50% of Latinos in the U.S. owned a home in 2020, according to a report from the Hispanic Wealth Project, a group monitoring U.S. Hispanic wealth creation.

But Latinos are still 2.3 times more likely to be in forbearance and 1.5 times more likely to be delinquent on payments than white borrowers.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Axios’ race and justice reporter Russell Contreras on the uptick in Latino homeownership and the financial troubles they are also experiencing.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.