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Black scholars launch project to fight disinformation

Black scholars launch project to fight disinformation
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A group formed by Black scholars, activists and writers aims to combat the disinformation and misinformation targeting Black Americans, the group announced Friday. 

National Black Cultural Information Trust will seek to fight misinformation that may stoke divisions in Black communities, influence how Black Americans vote or influence public opinions. 

The group said it will use communications, media and cultural awareness to share information and resources with Black communities in its efforts to correct and challenge cultural misinformation and disinformation targeting Black communities. 

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“It’s critical to understand how misinformation and disinformation affects the Black community specifically concerning how cultural issues are used by bad actors to infuse false information,” Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor, founder of the National Black Cultural Information Trust, said in the announcement

“We’re being manipulated and influenced, not just concerning social issues but also concerning how we think about our lives, our cultures, and ourselves. It’s important to raise awareness both online and offline in Black communities,” she continued. “This requires serious action and concerted efforts.”

Experts have warned that misinformation campaigns have been targeting Black Americans, especially ahead of the November election. 

Earlier this week, Twitter said it removed fake accounts from its platform that were posing as Black supporters of President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE

Aiwuyor told The Associated Press that some people are using “digital blackface” online, posing as Black users when they are not, to spread misinformation. 

Aiwuyor also told the newswire dubious accounts behind the social media #ADOS movement, which stands for American Descendants of Slavery, have also urged Black voters to skip the presidential election. 

The National Black Cultural Information Trust said it plans to host teach-ins, webinars, workshops and town hall discussions to strengthen public awareness and combat misinformation. The group also said it will create and promote public service announcements that target African American and communities of African descent in the U.S.