On Tuesday Nov. 8, 2022, millions of Americans will vote in the midterm elections to decide who will represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives and who will occupy a third of the U.S. Senate seats that are up for election, among other political offices. Among them, almost 35 million Hispanic U.S. citizens are eligible to cast a vote and their support will be crucial to determine the results in many key races around the country.
This is also the first major election since a very concerning fact became impossible to ignore: that Latino communities are being targeted with disinformation campaigns in Spanish that attempt to manipulate their votes. Many experts have sounded the alarm, as well as major media outlets (The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR) but little effort has been made to have community-specific fact-checking efforts to address this crisis.
That is where Factchequeado comes in. Our Spanish-language fact-checking site launched in April 2022, and our reporting is featured in +25 media outlets that serve Latino communities across the United States, from large television networks to small independent media newsrooms. This is our organization’s first election, and we’re putting together comprehensive election coverage, in Spanish.
On Election Day
With collaboration between our newsroom and our network of media partners, we want to interact with and be accessible to Latino voters when disinformation campaigns are more prevalent and their consequences more serious: right before the election, on Election Day, and immediately after voting.
On Election Night alone, as ballots are being counted, we will do a six-hour live stream to give our audience live fact-checking in Spanish. We will hear from experts and look to the election analysis of our media partners in many battleground states. We will provide real-time, accurate information on the night it is needed the most. We believe that together, with all the media partners in the Factchequeado network, we can share the experiences of Latino communities across the country.Through a streaming program that will feature our media partners and election experts throughout election night (6pm - 12pm ET), we will bring these Latino communities, who have been the target of disinformation in these elections, the information they need to make their own decisions about the elections.
Media partners that will participate in our live stream
(14 from +25)
Before and after Election Day
Going beyond the critical hours right before, during, and directly following Election Day,, our team has already ramped up election coverage and fact-checking. Our Factchequeado team and project allies are already working on actively listening to mis- and disinformation narratives around the elections, with the aim of being better prepared to counteract them and fill information gaps to prevent them from going viral. This will allow us to identify disinformation trends in Latino and Spanish-speaking communities that were not refuted by English-language fact-checkers in the past, and combat them.
In the days immediately before the elections, we are continuing to publish articles explaining what topics are being voted on and how, as well as pre-bunking potential narratives that may appear on the day of or the days after the election. To do this, we are planning a series of activities,from a live Q&A on social media, to the production of dynamic audiovisual content in Spanish, to the publishing of journalistic articles about misleading narratives that circulated during the 2020 elections which might resurface in this 2022 election cycle. We are making a special effort to be where our communities are by exploring and experimenting with different formats and strategies on the main platforms that Latino communities use for news consumption and information sharing (Whatsapp and social media) to better reach and engage with our audience.
We know that on Election Day, as well as in the hours after, mis- and disinformation regarding potential voter fraud might arise. The Factchequeado team, together with our founding media partners, will be stepping up their work to produce content to explain and contribute to the public debate with data and evidence.
Across the county, 14 out of Factchequeado’s +25 media partners will share our election night live stream on their social media accounts and will take part in interviews as part of the program throughout the night. After their state’s polls have closed, reporters from these media outlets will join us to talk about what has happened during the day in their state and what kind of disinformation they’ve encountered, especially in Spanish
Furthermore, with Factchequeado’s team and experts, we will break down how disinformation has impacted Spanish-speaking communities in this election and how Latino communities can better protect themselves from it going forward.
This 2022 midterm project will inform our approach to the 2024 presidential elections. It will also provide us and our media partners critical knowledge about the things that do and don’t work to serve our communities. Most importantly, Factchequeado’s 2022 election coverage is designed to help us further our understanding of how we can foster collaboration and improve our workflows to be even better prepared to fight electoral disinformation specifically targeting Latinos in the future.
We’ll be posting more midterm election updates on the Factchequeado Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! And you can also connect with us via our Chatbot on WhatsApp, +1(646) 873-6087.
Factchequeado receives support from the Google News Initiative, the Knight Foundation, the ABIM Foundation (American Board of Internal Medicine), and the International Center for Journalists. As of April 2022, Factchequeado co-founder Laura Zommer is an ICFJ Knight Fellow and receives financial support to further Factchequeado initiatives.