One of the big surprises of the 2020 election was how even though most Latino voters across the U.S. voted for Joe Biden, in some counties of competitive states like Florida and Texas, a higher-than-expected percentage of Latinos supported Donald Trump. One factor that many believe played a role: online misinformation about the Democratic candidate.
Another important subject that’s been victim of a massive misinformation campaign is the Coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing vaccination program. But why does #fakenews so heavily target the Latino community?
Since the 2020 campaign, a large misinformation campaign has target Latinos.
Although fake news is nothing new, in the campaign leading up to the 2020 elections it morphed into something more sinister – a campaign to influence Latino voters with false information. The largely undetected movement helped depress turnout and spread disinformation about Democrat Joe Biden.
The effort showed how social media and other technology can be leveraged to spread misinformation so quickly that those trying to stop it cannot keep up. There were signs that it worked as Donald Trump swung large numbers of Latino votes in the 2020 presidential race in some areas that had been Democratic strongholds.
Videos and pictures were doctored. Quotes were taken out of context. Conspiracy theories were fanned, including that voting by mail was rigged, that the Black Lives Matter movement had ties to witchcraft and that Biden was beholden to a cabal of socialists.
That flow of misinformation has only intensified since Election Day, researchers and political analysts say, stoking Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen and false narratives around the mob that overran the Capitol. More recently, it has morphed into efforts to undermine vaccination efforts against the coronavirus.
The misinformation campaign could have major impacts on our politics.
Several misinformation researchers say there is an alarming amount of misinformation about voter fraud and Democratic leaders being shared in Latino social media communities. Biden is a popular target, with misinformation ranging from exaggerated claims that he embraces Fidel Castro-style socialism to more patently false and outlandish ones, for instance that the president-elect supports abortion minutes before a child’s birth or that he orchestrated a caravan of Cuban immigrants to infiltrate the US Southern border and disrupt the election process.
Democratic strategists looking ahead to the 2022 midterm elections are concerned about how this might sway Latino voters in the future. They acknowledge that conservatives in traditional media and the political establishment have pushed false narratives as well, but say that social media misinformation deserves special attention: It appears to be a growing problem, and it can be hard to track and understand.
Some believe that Latinos may be more likely to believe a message shared by friends, family members, or people from their cultural community in a WhatsApp or Telegram group rather than an arbitrary mainstream US news outlet; research has found that people believe news articles more when they’re shared by people they trust.
Fake news is also impacting our community’s response to the pandemic.
Vaccination programs work best when as many people as possible get vaccinated, but Latinos in the United States are getting inoculated at lower rates.
In Florida, for example, Latinos are 27% of the population but they’ve made up only about 17% of COVID-19 vaccinations so far, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. And Latinos are relying on social media and word-of-mouth for information on vaccines — even when it’s wrong. There’s myths circulating around the vaccine, whether you can trust it and the possible the long-term effects.
And it’s not just obstacles to getting information in Spanish, but also in many of the native Mayan indigenous languages that farmworkers speak in South Florida.
For those of you who thought the 2020 election was behind us, well hold on to your seats because what just may be the most consequential election ever is about to take place in Georgia.
And thanks to a team of dancers from Atlanta, we won’t soon forget just how important the upcoming special election is.
A team of female dancers are focused on turning out the vote for Georgia’s upcoming dual senate run offs.
In the days following this year’s presidential election, Georgia went blue (voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris) for the first time since 1992. And the state saw record turnout, especially among Black and Brown voters. Much of this success is attributed to Stacey Abrams and other activists who helped register a record number of new voters.
Part of the success should also be given to a group of Atlanta strippers and dancers who made a viral get-out-the-vote ad aimed at persuading Black men to go to the polls. But with Georgia’s Senate races facing a runoff vote, the women say the work is far from done, and they are calling on young people to turn out once more.
These Atlanta dancers are hoping to reach an often overlooked electorate: Black men.
Of men age 18-34, African Americans had the lowest turnout among any listed racial group of men during the 2016 presidential election in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, according to an analysis of the data. Men who identified as Native American had the lowest turnout for Gwinnett, and were followed by Black males.
In Fulton, 29 percent of registered young Black men voted in the 2016 presidential election. Compare that to 45 percent of young Hispanic and 52 percent of young White men in Fulton.
Barnes said she wanted to connect with those Black men who feel voting and its outcomes aren’t for them. And having grown up in the metro area, she knows strip clubs are a big part of the culture — including its massive influence on hip-hop.
Original Story published October 17, 2020:
These are wild times, y’all. We are facing the election of our lifetime and on the line is the rights of millions and the dignity of our nation. This means that everyone is getting mobilized and active to make sure that voters come out in full force on Nov. 3. One ad is catching everyone’s attention.
Get Your Booty To The Poll is using pole dancing to get people to do their duty and vote.
Director Angela Barnes wanted to do something that would catch everyone’s attention during the pandemic and to remind them to vote. Her idea was to get some of the best exotic dancers from Atlanta’s best gentlemen’s clubs to do a PSA about voting. After all, we have all been told several times that “sex sells.”
The ad is getting people talking.
Some people are excited to see the ad targeting a specific group of people to vote. Others are offended that women are being objected in order to make the PSA. However, one this is for sure, the 3.4 million viewers on the tweet shows that the ad is getting everyone’s attention.
The Barnes wanted to target Black southern men, specifically in Georgia.
According to her Facebook post, the video is intended to make sure that Black men in the south go out and vote. One key element in the video that the director points out is the use of ballots as dollar bills on the stage. That’s right. The cast and crew used ballots in place of dollar bills to really sell the idea of getting out to the polls to vote.
Some people are not convinced that the people who are mad are really mad.
It is a very creative way to get people’s attention, especially for voting. There are voting PSAs from almost every organization targeting almost every community. This one is clearly designed with specific people in mind and it seems to be doing its job. This is the viral content voting PSAs wish to be, tbh.
Barnes and the dancers are definitely doing their part to remind you to vote so do your part and get to the polls to vote (or vote by mail-in ballot).
The U.S. is facing a tough and very important election. The Trump administration is fighting to secure another term while Democrats are doing everything in their power to stop them. Communities of color have been the target of some of the administration’s most hateful and damaging legislation.
Get ready to vote. Register your friends. Bring them to the polls. The general election is on Nov. 3 and it is up to all of us to vote to see the policies we want.