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Social media misinformation is bad in English. But it’s far worse in Spanish. | The Washington Post

The release of internal Facebook documents showing that the platform isn’t doing enough to stop a flood of lies and misinformation has sparked outrage nationwide. As bad as these problems are in English, though, they are even worse in other languages: Facebook has admitted its platform was used to incite violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar, and in the Philippines, the site helped fuel a vicious drug war and attacks on dissident journalists. Social media platforms are allowing far more misinformation to spread in other languages than they are in English.

But some of the scariest misinformation online is spreading right here in the United States — in Spanish.

I worked at Google from 2015 to 2018, and I saw the power the Internet has to foster community, keep family connected and help small businesses. It can even fuel social movements — from Cuba’s most recent protests to police accountability. Yet I also saw firsthand how many of the platforms use the shiny possibility of the Internet as a shield to hide the depths of what happens on the dark side. We are living with the consequences of years of inaction, which have yielded a mass shooting of Latinos in El Paso, a literal insurrection and deaths from anti-vaccine misinformation.

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Source: Social media misinformation is bad in English. But it’s far worse in Spanish. | The Washington Post