The conspiracy campaign targeting Florida Latinos: Why Bloomberg's cash infusion is the right investment



When Mike Bloomberg ran for the Democratic nomination for president - mostly as an attempt to stop Bernie Sanders before Sanders proved his ‘yuuge turnout’ rhetoric largely a paper tiger - the billionaire media mogul and former New York mayor promised that he’d spend freely to elect the eventual nominee, regardless of whether it was him.

I think it’s fair to say that a large majority of Democratic voters breathed a sigh of relief when it became clear that neither Sanders nor Bloomberg would be our nominee. Nevertheless, despite his many flaws, Mike Bloomberg is making good on his promise of infusing cash in favor of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and he is investing it smartly.

Bloomberg’s $100 million in cash is going to Florida, a critical swing state where Biden has made major inroads among seniors compared to previous Democratic candidates but appears to be running behind them in Latino support. The Washington Post reports that Bloomberg’s cash will “focus mostly on television and digital ads, in English and Spanish.”

That’s more critical than it sounds.

Bloomberg’s cash spells the first major independent investment to counter propaganda, disinformation, and viral conspiracy theories that have blanketed the radio airwaves and social media channels among Florida Latinos. In a report out in Politico this morning, the onslaught is described as follows:

George Soros directs a “Deep State” global conspiracy network. A Joe Biden win would put America in control of “Jews and Blacks.” The Democratic nominee has a pedophilia problem.

Wild disinformation like this is inundating Spanish-speaking residents of South Florida ahead of Election Day, clogging their WhatsApp chats, Facebook feeds and even radio airwaves at a saturation level that threatens to shape the outcome in the nation’s biggest and most closely contested swing state.

The massive, largely untraced campaign has had a significant effect in blunting Biden’s momentum among Florida Latinos, according to experts Politico spoke with. Facebook is a cesspool as always, and WhatsApp, a highly popular among international users as well as among immigrant communities connected to their birth countries or the home countries of their parents, is helping spread right wing lies like California wildfires.

Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, has demonstrated its clear contempt for the truth and an unwillingness to effectively deal with the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation on its platform.

That leaves only one way to mitigate the rapidly spreading dumpster fire of misinformation spreading on Facebook’s (but also on other social media) platforms and on radio: Money, and lots of it.

That comes from Bloomberg, and I’m damn glad for it.