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The WeChat app icon on a mobile device. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A new report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism examines the spread of fake news and misinformation among Chinese-American immigrant users of WeChat, Tencent's communication platform that is used by nearly 900 million people globally, including Chinese overseas.

Why it matters: Western policymakers grappling with the growing global influence of the PRC and the Chinese Communist Party have little ability to influence the content flowing through WeChat.

Among the report's findings:

  • WeChat content is disproportionally focused on affirmative action/census data disaggregation and unauthorized immigration over other topics like jobs, economy and health care.
  • "Local stories and policies especially fall prey to distorted information, when lack of local news coverage on issues of particular interest to immigrant Chinese leaves a vacuum for misinformation to flourish."
  • One example of a "fake news" headline on a platform is: “Kill a Chinese, get a green card.”
  • Read the full report.

My thought bubble: I am in several groups of mostly Chinese-American immigrants and I regularly see some crazy stuff getting posted. Another issue is that many consumers have weak English skills and so only read Chinese-language media.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”