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LA Times – Op-Ed: How conspiracy theories about COVID-19 prey on Latinos

MAY 2, 2021 3:30 AM PT

Social media campaigns like #VacunateYa are working to dispel myths with facts. #YaBastaFacebook is urging Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “close the Spanish content moderation gap.” (One analysis after the 2020 election found that Facebook put warnings on half of false English-language posts but only on 10% of Spanish-language misinformation.)

PEN America has released English and Spanish guides for media literacy and how to talk to family and friends who share bad information. “You have to bring a level of empathy,” said Nora Benavidez, PEN America’s director of free expression.

We’re all vulnerable to being tricked. But it is particularly deadly when conspiracy theorists are targeting Latino essential workers who have sustained the American economy during the pandemic. We have to look out for one another — and use our familial connectedness and skepticism to fight those trying to use those strengths against us.