Reps. Debbie Mucarsel Powell, Joaquin Castro ask FBI to investigate Latino-targeted Florida ads
Hispanic Caucus members are calling on the FBI for an immediate investigation into misinformed and false ads targeting Latinos.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) has now asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to launch an investigation into the of Spanish-language ads in Florida spreading misinformation ahead of the 2020 election.
From WhatsApp to Facebook, the onslaught of anti-Biden misinformation has flooded Spanish-language social media in Florida. Spread via social media posts and mainstream media publications in South Florida, many contain anti-Semitic and racist messages.
Joined by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) in her letter, Mucarsel-Powell raises concerns over "false or misleading information" that specifically targets Latinos in South Florida.
“As we approach election day, Latinos have seen a surge in posts containing false or misleading information on social media,” Rep. Mucarsel-Powell wrote.
“Joaquin Castro and I sent a letter to the @FBI calling for a full investigation into these disinformation campaigns,” she continued.
As we approach election day, Latinos have seen a surge in posts containing false or misleading information on social media.@JoaquinCastrotx and I sent a letter to the @FBI calling for a full investigation into these disinformation campaigns. https://t.co/E4OC0MefFh— Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@RepDMP) September 23, 2020
“Latino communities are experiencing a surge of disinformation, particularly in Florida, ahead of the elections — @RepDMP and I are urging the @FBI to investigate. Malign actors, including Russia, are sowing division — we must push back on this threat,” Castro wrote, raising the issue of foreign affairs.
Over the summer Rep. Castro also announced a bid for the Foreign Affairs Chair position.
Their joint letter adds that the investigation must consider ties with any foreign actors.
They’ve set Oct. 7 as the deadline for the FBI’s response and date when it may brief Congress on the issue, reported NBC.
Latino communities are experiencing a surge of disinformation, particularly in Florida, ahead of the elections — @RepDMP and I are urging the @FBI to investigate.— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) September 23, 2020
Malign actors, including Russia, are sowing division — we must push back on this threat. https://t.co/t3d5X6LU2L
Rep. Mucarsel-Powell’s letter focuses on the threat to the integrity of the 2020 election, especially as it targets undecided Latino voters in one of the biggest battleground states in the nation — on deceptive grounds.
“As we rapidly approach Election Day, Latino circles in South Florida have witnessed a surge in posts containing false or misleading information on social media. These posts are often politically charged and contain far-right conspiracy theories relating to ‘QAnon’ or other fringe ideologies designed to manipulate Latino voters,” both reps stated in their letter to the FBI.
Mucarsel-Powell is currently in the midst of a tight race for re-election for Florida’s 26th congressional district.
Polls currently also show a tight race between Trump and Biden in Florida. Cuban Americans are giving Trump an edge within the Latinx vote, though Biden leads with Latinos in Florida overall.
In the year of a presidential election, a pandemic, and unprecedented loss within the Latinx demographic, the manifestation and spread of the disinformation in question is strategic, whatever powers are behind it.