Brian Williams Taunts One America News With Tuning-In Tip


HuffPost 12 October, 2021 - 02:53am

False and misleading posts that get slapped with a warning in English will often spread unchecked in posts aimed at immigrants’ diaspora communities, Oliver said. While 90 percent of Facebook’s monthly users are outside of the United States and Canada, the company last year devoted just 13 percent of its fact-checking time to content from outside the U.S.

“So it seems that Facebook’s adopted the same general attitude to misinformation that the Oscars took toward best pictures for the first 90 years of its existence,” Oliver said. “Basically, if it doesn’t happen in English, it doesn’t fundamentally matter.”

Oliver showed examples of how these false posts were influencing people around the world ― including immigrant communities within the U.S. ― on issues ranging from politics to the coronavirus. He also presented a way to combat those online lies with something that will look very familiar to those who are often the victims of them.

See his full segment below and download the meme-based messages on his new website,

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John Oliver tackles misinformation in immigrant communities, from AT&T

The Week Magazine 12 October, 2021 - 08:12am

The main story on Sunday's Last Week Tonight was about online misinformation, specifically "misinformation that spreads amid immigrant diaspora communities," John Oliver said. Recent leaked Facebook data show that "while more than 90 percent of Facebook's monthly users are outside the U.S. and Canada, when it comes to the hours the company spends on monitoring misinformation, last year only 13 percent were spent on content from outside the U.S."

"We clearly haven't remotely figured out what to do with English language misinformation yet, as proven by the fact that when I saw the words 'horse dewormer' or the letter Q, you know exactly what I'm referring to," Oliver said. "But while I know it is hard to imagine that this situation could be worse, when it comes to non-English-language misinformation, it honestly is."

Oliver showed examples of vaccine misinformation in California Latino communities, socialism agitprop among Florida's Cuban-Americans, and introduced the Vietnamese-American Alex Jones. "And as bad as Facebook and YouTube are — and they are screamingly, screamingly bad — at least in theory they can be monitored," he said. "But there is another way misinformation spreads that's actually invisible to most people."

Misinformation posts on WhatsApp, WeChat, and other diaspora-specific private-messaging apps are "often being passed around by trusted friends and family members, lending them an aura of legitimacy, and it can be truly exasperating for younger people to see just how susceptible their relatives are to this bulls--t," Oliver said. "If you are a member of one of these diaspora communities, you may need to prepare yourself for more difficult conversations with your least-favorite uncles. Although there is one tiny way that we may be able to help you here." 

Oliver did also tackle a slice of English-language misinformation Sunday night — specifically One America News and, according to Reuters, its chief patron, AT&T. Notably, "AT&T is still technically our 'business daddy,' making OAN our 'business step-sibling,' and not in a hot way," he joked. "Look, AT&T, I know our relationship is a little awkward, especially since you're trying to spin this business baby off in your deal with Discovery, but while we are still technically related, let me just say this: You're a terrible company. You do bad things and you make the world worse. Please don't bother keeping in touch once the merger's complete — although that really should not be a problem for you. You're AT&T, it's not like your messages will go through anyway."

John Oliver on digital misinformation: ‘There needs to be more public pressure on platforms’

The Guardian 12 October, 2021 - 08:12am

The HBO host started by informing his viewers that despite the fact that 90% of monthly Facebook users are based outside the US and Canada, only 13% of the platform’s monitoring is spent on content outside of America.

He said it was the “same general attitude to misinformation that the Oscars took toward best pictures for the first 90 years of its existence”.

There was an unsettling clip played that showed a woman who was basing her Covid views from an unverified doctor from El Salvador via Facebook, rather than anything more official. Oliver called it “a pretty good reminder that thanks to social media, it is possible to silo yourself off and have very different experiences of living in America”.

Although he was envious of her lack of Fauci awareness. “It would have been great to see significantly less of him over the last year and a half,” he noted.

A major problem is that for immigrants in the US, there aren’t many alternatives in their own languages. For example, for Vietnamese people there is such a lack of official news that many end up on YouTube watching a man known as King Radio, a Vietnamese Alex Jones, who shares fake news 24/7. Oliver said they “both have voices that sound like bones going through a wood-chipper” while also noting they both sell unreliable products.

But while social media platforms are “screamingly bad”, the real concern is private messaging apps such as WhatsApp, and particularly China’s WeChat, which is used for communication but also news and ordering food and travel. There is a “streamlining our shared digital nightmare into one convenient place” he joked.

It’s become “a huge vector for misinformation” between Chinese families, living in both China and the US.

There are “very real impacts” to the spread of misinformation on these apps such as in India where fake news have led to violence and deaths. It’s got so serious that WhatsApp released an advert featuring an Indian father and her daughter who moved away who reminds him of the importance of checking sources. The tagline is “share joy not rumours”.

“It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s also not great when you have to produce a PSA that says ‘Some of what’s on our service is dangerous nonsense, and, if you could, help clean it up,’” he said.

Oliver called on platforms to be at least as proactive as taking down misinformation in other languages as they are when they’re in English.

He added: “There needs to be public pressure on platforms to do more about misinformation whether they are in English or not because until they do, if you are a member of one if these diaspora communities you may have to prepare yourself with more difficult conversations with your least favourite uncles.”

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