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The latest piece from Washington Post opinion columnist Lizette Alvarez slammed Spanish language radio as being a hub of “right-wing disinformation” and warned readers that the industry is “revving up” for the midterm elections.
At the outset of her column, the author wrote, “An epidemic of Spanish-language right-wing disinformation that spiked around the 2020 election on social media platforms, and in some big-city AM radio stations, is revving up again ahead of the fall midterms.”
To drive home the alleged nefarious nature of right-wing Spanish radio, Alvarez wrote that “Spanish-language videos and news stories smeared Joe Biden as a communist” prior the 2020 election, claimed that Black Lives Matter spurred the “Jan. 6 insurrection,” and parroted the “lie that Biden stole the election.”
In addition, she claimed some Spanish radio promoted the idea that “coronavirus vaccines were dangerous.”
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Alvarez noted that because of the industry’s influence, “the false narratives jumped quickly from screen to screen, metastasizing through WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”
The author said she spoke to “social media researchers and Democratic political strategists” who say that “far-right disinformation is snowballing again” and is doing so on “newer platforms,” like “TikTok, Signal, and Telegram.”
One communication expert, Evelyn Pérez-Verdía, told Alvarez that Telegram “has become a rabbit hole for QAnon channels in Spanish.”
This prompted the author to declare, “This is bad news — not just for Democrats and Latino voters, but also for democracy.”
The columnist then blamed right-wing disinformation in Spanish language circles for helping former President Trump and the GOP make electoral inroads with the Spanish American community. “It’s hard to know precisely why Donald Trump was able to expand his vote count among Latino voters in 2020, compared with the 2016 election,” she wrote, adding, “But there is little doubt, Pérez-Verdía said, that the steady drumbeat of bogus facts and false narratives, buttressed by incendiary, authentic-looking videos, played an outsize role.”
Perez-Verdía added, “The lies work, and continue to work.”
Alvarez explained why “debunked false narratives and outrageous lies” so easily spread among the Spanish language community. The first reason she gave is that “social media sites, including Facebook, do little fact-checking on foreign-language pages, including ones in Spanish.”
Another reason is that much of this fake news “finds a receptive audience among Latinos in Florida who fled leftist regimes.” Also, Florida International University professor Eduardo Gamarra told Alvarez that oftentimes this fake news spreads “via large group chats among families and friends on WhatsApp, which is hugely popular among Latinos and is encrypted.”
In addition, “video is often the preferred fake-news medium” and as Gamarra claimed, “Latinos spend twice as much time on YouTube as non-Latinos.”
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Alvarez mentioned how big tech giants have “vowed to step up” to combat this supposed explosion of fake news in Latin circles but urged ordinary Hispanics to “do our part.” “Don’t be shy about asking Abuela where she got that information she mentioned on WhatsApp,” she urged her readers.
The columnist slammed Spanish radio specifically, stating, “Old-school media, particularly AM Spanish-language radio, is still an effective megaphone for false narratives, particularly in Miami, where far right-wing hosts have long dominated the airwaves.”
Alvarez then mentioned how Latino Media Network, which she called a “bipartisan group, but led largely by Democrats – announced last month it was buying 18 major Spanish-language radio stations across the country from TelevisaUnivision.” One of the network’s goals is to help “Spanish-language audiences ‘navigate the ocean of information that exists in our society.’”
Though Fox News Digital reported the Latino Media Network is “a group of liberals partially funded by Soros, a far-left billionaire.” Media Research Center director of MRC Latino Jorge Bonilla told the outlet that LMN’s move is a leftist power grab, stating, “This is about power, this is about control. This is not about free speech. This is not about this misinformation. This is about controlling the flow of information to a specific community for political purposes.”
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Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/right-wing-disinfo-spread-spanish-media-washington-post-column-warns-vet-abuelas-fake-news