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Viet Fact Check was approached by the Asian American Disinformation Table to co-author a study about the rise of disinformation in the Asian American community and what can be done about it. You can read that report, “Power, Platforms, & Politics: Asian Americans & Disinformation” here.
The Asian American Disinformation Table is a national effort to coordinate research, and create strategies and policy recommendations around issues of misinformation and disinformation within the Asian Americans community. It is spearheaded by the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), and is part of the Disinfo Defense League network, a project of the Media Democracy Fund.
Viet Fact Check was part of the many Asian American groups featured in the report. There are many groups like Viet Fact Check who are working to combat disinformation in our communities and create policy changes so that people who are spreading disinformation (such as The King Radio, Bé Ti, and Sonia Ohlala) are no longer given a public platform like YouTube to spread their false information.
One of the biggest findings in the report was that “disinformation is not just about lies, it is about power. Harmful information and problematic narratives become mobilized to maintain and expand existing power structures and inequities.” It also diminishes the political influence of Asian Americans.
“Disinformation is designed to expose the frictions, fault lines, and tensions within and across Asian American communities” while also weakening democracy and creating divisions with other communities of color.
There are three key themes that are used by spreaders of disinformation:
1. “Using Asians as “wedges” against other communities of color” (such as spreading the lies that Black people are responsible for hate crimes against Asian Americans).
2. “Exploiting internal divides and hierarchies within Asian communities” (such as claiming falsely that China helped elect Joe Biden, thus weaponizing the conflict between China and Vietnam to undermine American democracy).
3. “Weaponizing current and historical traumas” (such as painting Democrats as “communists” or “socialists” in order to incite fear and anger towards them, and distract from their policy proposals).
Since its release, the report has been featured in NBC News and the San Francisco Chronicle. NBC News even mentioned Viet Fact Check: “One project, Viet Fact Check, contextualizes, translates and fact-checks mainstream news into articles using culturally and linguistically competent Vietnamese terms.”
Read more highlights of the report below: