Your family may be in serious trouble if your chosen messaging app is less fact-checking than YouTube and Facebook. John Oliver tried to bring this message into the overflowing sewerage system of the internet in Sunday’s Last week. He focused more on WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk which are all popular among non-English-speaking communities within the American diaspora. Oliver pointed out that Facebook, which controls the global-reaching WhatsApp, seems to be following the Oscars-like approach of “If it doesn’t happen in English it doesn’t really matter.” He also showed how the overwhelms many immigrant communities essentially unchecked, unfiltered.
There are many reasons, with companies not giving a damn being top of the list. But Oliver shined a light on an important, growing problem that most people didn’t realize they had. John, thank you for your kind words. Oliver pointed out that there is limited news in the native language of many people and they often turn to other sources for information, such as , a deadly pandemic. One Nguy Vi is a Vietnamese broadcaster, who calls himself King Radio. His misinformation and outright dangerous lunacy, which Alex Jones labels as misinformation, are often left running in the background in many Vietnamese homes in America.
Oliver highlighted the striking similarities between Sandy Hook denier Jones and King Radio, right down to their shared dependence on to support their media empires. Both men are spreading dangerous misinformation about everything, from vaccines to mask-wearing (which is safe) to vaccines (which are also safe), while Nguy Vu promotes a skin cream made by his cousin. Oliver stated emphatically that unless his cousin is Steve Clinique, “I don’t want any creams from him.”
Oliver asked what can be done to stop King Radio and other members of his ilk from sending your least favorite racist uncle scrambling to share unreliable and dangerous scuttlebutt to your WhatsApp group chat. He noted that it is possible to put pressure on companies to give a damn about their products. He demonstrated how WhatsApp in India, where misinformation has led people to be murdered straight up, has made it necessary for the company to wage a PR war against itself. This is nice, but Oliver says that the corporate strategy of “Look, some things on our service are dangerous nonsense and if you can help clean them up for us” is a way of passing the blame to already-stressed family members who must deal with the daily barrage .
As ever, however, Last Week Tonight is here to help, as Oliver pointed such exhausted friends and family toward the new, HBO-funded site, bettermorningmessages.com. Oliver and his team have created a variety of memes with similar messages in different languages, such as “Good morning!” You should take every opportunity you can and reconsider sharing news from a bullshit resource! (The background with the blinking hearts, dinosaur and passenger jet really brings the massage home. King Radio is the target audience for this site. It offers both the English and Vietnamese versions of the musical video message, complete with astronauts and dancing dogs. You should never be called ‘King’ by someone who offers you dick drugs made by their cousin.v