Executive Summary

While disinformation circulating in Latino spaces online in English and Spanish has been widely documented and reported on, questions remain about the demonstrable impact of disinformation on Latinos’ behavior and what interventions may be necessary for countering those potential effects. To assess the state of research on U.S. Latinos and Disinformation, DdIA conducted a multilevel literature review of peer-reviewed academic research published in the last 5 years. 

After reviewing the methodology of the top 100 most-cited articles on Disinformation, we found no articles directly focused on U.S. Latinos and only 9 where we could discern the sample included U.S. Latinos. We also observe a lack of research on understanding what if any factors may make a difference in reception, what cultural values are at play, and how disinformation may be combatted among U.S. Latinos. 

The second level of the review was a closer look at the small set of studies published about U.S. Latinos and Disinformation outside of the top 100 most-cited articles. These included scholarship predominantly in the fields of Communication, Political Science, and Public Health with a wide variety of methods used. The small set of literature about U.S. Latinos and Disinformation outside of the top 100 cited articles suggests that while U.S. Latinos are by no means inherently more susceptible to disinformation, there are socio-cultural factors like language, media use, political identity, cultural values, and geography that may play a role in how they engage with and believe, or not, disinformation. 

Both levels of findings are then used to discuss two emerging schools of thought in the field of Mis- and Disinformation, studies that will shape future research. The first is the Minimal Effects school which is finding less evidence for social media itself being the problem and more evidence for other socio-cultural factors that influence beliefs and behavior, implying interventions need to look beyond social media with a focus on mending institutional trust and political communication. The second is the Social Psychology school which is focused on specific interventions on social media such as pre-bunking, debunking, and accuracy prompts and testing their effectiveness. We conclude with recommendations for further research specifically on U.S. Latinos in both areas.


Despite widespread news reporting highlighting the supposed disproportionate targeting of the U.S. Latino electorate by disinformation campaigns, especially on social media (Mochkosfky, 2022; Mazzei & Medina, 2020), academic research lags in studying or validating these effects at scale (and beyond case studies) among U.S. Latino communities. The lack of research is despite calls from within academia and externally to study diverse populations and the potential impact of disinformation (Kuo & Marwick, 2021). 

This report focuses on four aspects regarding the (lack of) studies on disinformation and U.S. Latinos. 

  1. First, we present an overview of disinformation studies as a field through a review of top-cited papers, demonstrating the lack of research on U.S. Latinos. 

  2. Second, we review the limited literature on U.S. Latinos, with a discussion of the methodological approaches of selected studies. 

  3. Third, we critically examine the state of the field. 

  4. Lastly, we present several targeted and specific suggestions for future research directions. 

The Landscape of Academic Research on Disinformation 

There has been a documented “surge in scholarly interest” in the study of mis- and disinformation according to Freelon and Wells (2020). They note the vast majority of studies have been published since 2016, but it is almost certain that even more have been published since the 2020 election and the pandemic intensified concerns over false information and the role of social media. This has created what some scholars have called an “‘infodemic’ infodemic” (Krause et al., 2022) and concerns the field is “too big to fail” (Camargo & Simon, 2022). In other words, the topic is trendy, and as with any trend in scientific research, there are concerns over rigor, slippery definitions, “a too great emphasis on media effects, [and] a neglect of intersectional factors” (Camargo & Simon, 2022, p. 2). 

In many cases, studying mis- and disinformation recently has meant studying online mis- and disinformation, which neglects that other forms of media and actors can deceive (such as TV or politicians) and that misinformed beliefs have long preceded the internet, such as the satanic panic in the 1990s (Phillips & Millner, 2021). 

Beyond our concern over the lack of research on U.S. Latinos, we also see a need for studies that avoid the generalizations and often unvalidated assumptions about U.S. Latinos and disinformation. This especially includes the assumption such as that Latinos are more susceptible or gullible, while also avoiding some of the methodological and conception slippages seen in other mis- and disinformation studies. Exemplary studies in this area move beyond the monolith and consider how subgroups within communities fare.

As a first step, we reviewed the 100 top-cited papers that cover the topic of disinformation to survey the potential inclusion of Latinos in samples. To do so, we queried Web of Science with the search term “disinformation” and limited results to the past 5 years. Web of Science was chosen as it is the largest scientific citation search platform and one that can be used to study scientific literature, connections between scholars, and the state of various fields. The results were then sorted by citation count and exported. Each paper’s methodology was individually reviewed to determine if Latinos were included in the sample. More details about the methodology are available in Appendix I.

Unsurprisingly, there were no studies that explicitly focused on U.S. Latinos in the study sample among the top cited papers on misinformation, perhaps reflecting the social nature of citations Freelon et al. (2023) discuss. 

In reviewing the 100 top-cited papers on Disinformation, we noted the below:

  • Of the 100 top-cited papers surveyed, only 9 studies that focused broadly on disinformation in the United States explicitly noted whether their sample included Latinos or was ethno-racially representative of the United States.

  • In all other cases, the sample details broken down by ethnicity and/or race were not reported, which reflects findings from Afifi & Conerjo (2020) who write that “an important finding from these analyses is that authors often do not report basic characteristics of their samples.”

  • There were also a few instances of studies centered on Latin America, especially in Brazil, and while their findings are important and useful, they do not meet the qualifications for inclusion in this particular review of studies focused on U.S. Latinos.

  • Finally, it should be noted that many of the top-cited studies on disinformation are review articles, summarizing empirical studies and thus did not have a sample.

While by no means a perfect snapshot of the field, our review reveals a preponderance of studies in the United States and Europe, predominantly done by scholars in those same countries who cite each other. Searches for terms such as “Misinformation” would likely produce similar results. This reflects what Freelon et al. (2023) recently found in the field of Communication where highly cited scholars are overwhelmingly white, male, and in the United States. This compounds the issues Henrich et al. (2010) found in their review of behavioral theories across the social sciences which overwhelmingly are based on samples based in WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) countries. The problem then becomes, as Afifi and Cornejo write in their study of samples in Communication, the “flawed embedded assumptions that the white American college perspective is universal” (2020, 15-16). 

Without diverse study samples, we cannot validate concepts across the social sciences. This is since culture, social position, and information ecosystems vary even within countries. In the next section, we discuss our closer look at the nascent sub-field of Latino Mis- and Disinformation Studies and highlight a few noteworthy studies. 

Latino Mis- and Disinformation Studies

Our review of the literature on Latinos and disinformation shows a relatively small number of studies published in the last 10 years. It should be noted that academic publishing is slower than journalism, so concerns over political and health disinformation directed toward Latinos in 2020 and beyond may just now be in the peer-review and production phase. As of June 2023, we count 15 peer-reviewed studies published in the last 10 years on the broader topic of U.S. Latinos and mis- and disinformation. We have compiled our results into a studies tracker here. Studies are categorized by the topic (Politics, Health, Interventions, etc.). Studies are predominantly drawn from the fields of Communication, Public Health, and Political Science. The list of studies is also available in Appendix II as a bibliography.

Among the studies, there is a wide range of methodologies represented, including surveys, experiments, and focus groups. There is also a diverse set of topics studied and conceptual approaches, drawing from various intellectual traditions. A few noteworthy studies stand out. Velez et al., (2023) conducted a robust experiment with a diverse sample of 2,869 U.S. Latinos. They found that while exposure to misinformation decreases factual accuracy reporting, fact checks do work without backfiring. These positive findings held across subgroups varying on dimensions such as language, news consumption, political interest, and nativity status.  Cortina and Rottinghaus (2022) used survey data collected by Univision. The sample included 1,962 Latinos, with an oversample of Latinos in Texas (n=401). They found that “belief in conspiracy theories among Latinos is limited to support of Trump, heavy use of (and trust in) social media, especially among older Latinos (who infrequently use social media anyway), and high use of Spanish language media” (p. 6).

There is also a recent emphasis on health studies, especially since the pandemic, and concerns over vaccine uptake among U.S. Latinos. Perez et al. (2023) conducted an experiment with a sample of 1,645 Latinos, focusing on whether language and social norms used in an interview would prompt support for COVID-19 protocols. Surprisingly, those interviewed in Spanish, regardless of which social norm they were primed with, reported weaker support for protocols. 

Lastly, Soto-Vásquez et al. (2021) used qualitative focus groups of U.S. Latinos living on the U.S./Mexico border. They found that information about the pandemic was received and interpreted through the family unit, especially in lockdown, showing an important offline element to information reception. Importantly, they found younger U.S. Latinos were hesitant to correct elders when misinformation was shared, likely due to the cultural norm of respeto, or respect.

Finally, there is a strain of scholarship focused on disinformation about Latinos. Chavez (2020) writes about the long history of associating Latino immigrants with criminality and Abrajano and Lajevardi (2021) find that white conservatives are highly misinformed about socially marginalized groups, including Latinos. This set of research is helpful from the perspective of showing how political identity is closely tied to misinformation beliefs, usually as what others called expressive responding, or espousing misinformation that aligns or benefits one’s political identity.

While limited, the literature here does suggest that while U.S. Latinos are by no means inherently more susceptible to misinformation, there are socio-cultural factors like language, media use, political identity, cultural values, and geography that may play a role. As we will recommend in the last section of this document, the base of research discussed here in combination with the current state of the field points to new areas of inquiry that are more socio-culturally informed. 

Finally, what might account for this small number of studies? Besides the general lag in academic publishing, there are also few scholars in the area. Despite being over 18% of the U.S. population, Latinos are underrepresented in higher education and research. At doctoral-level institutions, Vasquez Heilig (2019) found that just 4.6% of tenured faculty and 5.19% of tenure-track faculty are Latino. The small number of studies is in many ways an artifact of the underrepresentation of Latino faculty and researchers. Researchers may also lack adequate funding resources to fully develop studies.

Discussion: Interventions to Counter Disinformation 

Some of the largest and most pressing questions related to U.S. Latinos and disinformation have been underexplored, and thus, policymakers and civil society face a challenge advocating for change and applying resources. Meaning, does it make sense to push social media companies to increase content moderation in Spanish? Or would energy be better spent tailoring messaging for campaigns? Should both be done? Should neither be done? At this point, we simply do not have enough information to know. 

Our review of the literature suggests that there are two broad schools of thought on how best to approach mis- and disinformation generally. 

The Minimal Effects Theory 

The first is what can be termed the minimal effects school of thought, which is predominantly an approach drawn from the field of Communication and Media Studies (Mitchelstein et al., 2020). This school of thought is based on decades of research on propaganda and audiences studies, dating back to the midcentury, which has not found a significant relationship between media and behavior (Bennet & Iyengar, 2008). Instead, the media simply amplifies and reflects the social and political relationships already present. 

For example, one of the most interesting, if contrarian, perspectives comes from studies in Latin America about misinformation, which find that social media has minimal effects on increasing false beliefs about politics. Instead, social media amplifies pre-existing social and political patterns rather than creating them (Mitchelstein et al., 2020; Valenzuela et al., 2022). This is consistent with years of research on political communication that shows the media has minimal effects. This perspective shows that disinformation needs to be addressed from “psychological, cognitive, ideological, social dimensions of the communication process” rather than just as a social media problem (Valenzuela et al., 2022; p. 16). 

As discussed earlier, the field of mis- and disinformation studies is grappling with its issues. Altay et al. (2023) are concerned that the explosion of research on this subject since 2016 has led to over-generalizations about the prevalence and impact of misinformation. They discuss 6 persistent “misconceptions about misinformation”:

1. Misinformation is just a social media problem

2. The internet is rife with misinformation

3. Falsehoods spread faster than the truth

4. People believe everything they see on the internet

5. A large number of people are misinformed

6. Misinformation has a strong influence on people’s behavior

Camargo and Simon (2022) note that the field can also suffer from ahistoricism, meaning it can neglect to acknowledge its conceptual and normative assumptions that are drawn from studies of mass communication and propaganda. For example, in another study, Simon and Camargo (2021) argue against using viral metaphors, aka misinformation ‘infecting’ minds when it spreads, since this goes against decades of research and can oversimplify complex social processes. Kuo and Marwick (2021) write that the current scope of disinformation needs to be expanded and understood as a longer project to maintain power, especially racial and imperial power. For example, they note racist beliefs about Black criminality or immigrants as “invaders” long preceded the internet and were used to justify specific political and policy outcomes. Considering misinformation and misperceptions about marginalized communities is an especially important area of future research (Flores-Yeffal et al., 2017; Hopkins, et al., 2019). One challenge for this area moving forward is the difficulty in determining causal factors since it implicates complex social systems. 

The Social Psychology Approach (Inoculation, Pre-Bunking, Debunking and More)

The other predominant school of thought regarding prescriptive actions is drawn from the field of social psychology and focuses on how interventions can be used to counter mis- and disinformation beliefs (Pennycook & Rand, 2022). To be fair, the lack of a relationship between social media use and belief in false information does not mean social media interventions should be ignored. If social media amplifies existing social divisions and social mistrust of institutions, it stands that countering disinformation online can ameliorate some of the divisions we see today. 

Much of this school of thought derives from the concept of inoculation theory, or the ability to “psychologically vaccinate” people against misinformation (Lewandowsky & Van Der Linden, 2021).

One of the more promising ways to intervene is pre-bunking, or essentially alerting people to the rhetorical techniques that are commonly used to mislead people (Roozenbeek et al., 2022). The benefit of pre-bunking is that it is not topic specific, as the underlying techniques of manipulation (false dichotomies, emotional language, etc.) are similar across most appeals (Vraga et al., 2019). While Roozenbeek et al., (2022) used a U.S. sample that was ethnically and racially diverse, they did note that their findings are limited “to what extent inoculation treatments transfer to different cultural and linguistic settings” (p. 6). In another study, Roozenbeek et al., (2020) evidence pre-bunking has cross-cultural validity but the study sample was limited to Europe. 

Debunking, or correcting false information once it is out, can also help reduce factually inaccurate beliefs about politics and medicine (Velez et al. 2023; Porter at al. 2023), but witnessing deeper changes in behavior, attitudes, and evaluations is far less common (Nyhan et al. 2020). Other interventions such as accuracy prompts, which “nudge” individuals into considering accuracy when encountering information online, have also been shown to reduce the sharing of false information (Pennycook & Rand 2022). A limitation of this area of research is the reliance on experiments, which tempers the ability to observe any long-term effects of countering misinformation.

The Dedicating Resources to Genuine Political Communication Approach

Cortina and Rottinghaus (2022) found that support for conspiracy theories among U.S. Latinos is correlated with support for Donald Trump. Others have found that political ideology is closely tied with certain false beliefs, whether as a sincerely held worldview or simply to show support for the party or personality -a phenomenon known as expressive responding (Schaffner & Luks, 2018). 

What might this mean? Simply, there must also be great consideration and energy devoted to genuine political communication. 

As Karpf (2019) said, “Generating social media interactions is easy; mobilizing activists and persuading voters is hard.” Perhaps reaching U.S. Latino voters, speaking to issues they care about, and including them in the political process will have a relationship to trust and misinformation belief. Thus, for researchers, this might mean venturing outside the countering disinformation box and moving towards research that focuses on broader political debates, communication, and mobilization among U.S. Latinos. 

Directions for Future Research

The current state of the field presents promising directions for studies that can and should include U.S. Latinos. We have identified two major schools of thought regarding disinformation and how best to approach it. There remains a need to include diverse communities in research samples to better understand the problem and how best to address it. As we stated earlier, we need this research so that civil society and policymakers can best apply resources and advocacy. 

In the school of thought from social psychology regarding pre-bunking and inoculation theory, there is an opportunity to test interventions among diverse Latino communities. Following Perez et al. (2023), research on pre-bunking and Latinos can test differences in whether language and cultural norms like individualism and collectivism matter, whereas studies examining debunking could assess if culturally competent summaries of fact-checks by trusted sources help magnify the positive effects of debunking. Much of the debunking and pre-bunking literature has been primarily focused on health misinformation, so whether the techniques apply to politics and how long they persist remain open questions. There are also other promising routes about Latinos such as:

  • Are there content modalities (video, images) that aid in debunking on social media? 

  • What role does cultural framing play in pre- and debunking interventions on social media? 

  • Can/how pre-bunking techniques be applied in interpersonal settings such as family conversations?

  • Can pre-bunking techniques be applied in forms of mass media such as television or radio?

Regarding social media studies about disinformation, researcher access to platform APIs is becoming more contested and may depend on social media companies' whims. For example, X (formerly Twitter) recently announced changes to their previously free API service and moved it into a paid service with different tiers. To capture the amount of tweets used in previous social media studies, the enterprise account which costs $42,000 a month would be required, putting official Twitter API access out of reach for most researchers. In a potential post-API era, researchers of disinformation will need to devise new approaches to studying the topic. In a sense, this change can help the field move away from a reliance on big (and convenient) social media data (Altay et al., 2023) and toward deeper engagement with affected communities.

One possible and important direction is the deeper investigation of the socio-cultural context of disinformation among U.S. Latinos. The current literature suggests several factors may have influenced whether disinformation is believed or acted upon, such as mistrust in institutions, media consumption habits, cultural norms and group dynamics, and interpersonal communication. 

There is also room to explore if and whether U.S. Latinos are growing more mistrustful, losing access to local news, or are more willing to discuss politics with family members. 

Research should endeavor to discover these broader social trends and any correlations they may have with disinformation. Here especially, qualitative research has the opportunity to provide deeper insights and investigate how U.S. Latinos as an audience exert their agency (Livingstone, 2018). 

Other possible investigations can include: 

  • What are the media and information habits of Latinos in various geographical and cultural contexts? Where and how does misinformation fit into their overall information diet?

  • What are the aspects (or lack) of social trust that matter the most for Latinos and mis- and disinformation?

  • What are the characteristics of those who are more resilient against mis- and disinformation?

The Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas will endeavor to address these questions and more through its work over the coming years. 


Afifi, W. A., & Cornejo, M. (2020). # CommSoWEIRD: The question of sample representativeness in interpersonal communication research. In Organizing Inclusion (pp. 238-259). Routledge.

Altay, S., Berriche, M., & Acerbi, A. (2023). Misinformation on misinformation: Conceptual and methodological challenges. Social Media+ Society, 9(1), 20563051221150412. https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051221150412  

Bennett, W. L., & Iyengar, S. (2008). A new era of minimal effects? The changing foundations of political communication. Journal of communication, 58(4), 707-731. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2008.00410.x  

Camargo, C. Q., & Simon, F. M. (2022). Mis-and disinformation studies are too big to fail: Six suggestions for the field’s future. Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, 3(5). https://doi.org/10.37016/mr-2020-106 

Cortina, J., & Rottinghaus, B. (2022). Conspiratorial thinking in the Latino community on the 2020 election. Research & Politics, 9(1), 20531680221083535. https://doi.org/10.1177/20531680221083535  

Flores-Yeffal, N. Y., Vidales, G., & Martinez, G. (2019). # WakeUpAmerica,# IllegalsAreCriminals: the role of the cyber public sphere in the perpetuation of the Latino cyber-moral panic in the US. Information, Communication & Society, 22(3), 402-419. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1388428 

Freelon, D., & Wells, C. (2020). Disinformation as political communication. Political Communication, 37(2), 145–156. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2020.1723755 

​​Freelon, D., Pruden, M. L., Eddy, K. A., & Kuo, R. (2023). Inequities of race, place, and gender among the communication citation elite, 2000–2019. Journal of Communication, jqad002. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqad002  

Heilig, J. V., Flores, I. W., Barros Souza, A. E., Barry, J. C., & Monroy, S. B. (2019). Considering the ethnoracial and gender diversity of faculty in United States college and university intellectual communities. Hisp. JL & Pol'y, 1. 

Krause, N. M., Freiling, I., & Scheufele, D. A. (2022). The “infodemic” infodemic: Toward a more nuanced understanding of truth-claims and the need for (not) combatting misinformation. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 700(1), 112-123. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027162221086263  

Kuo, R., & Marwick, A. (2021). Critical disinformation studies: History, power, and politics. Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, 2(4), 1-11.  https://doi.org/10.37016/mr-2020-76  

Lewandowsky, S., & Van Der Linden, S. (2021). Countering misinformation and fake news through inoculation and prebunking. European Review of Social Psychology, 32(2), 348-384. https://doi.org/10.1080/10463283.2021.1876983  

Livingstone, S. (2019). Audiences in an age of datafication: Critical questions for media research. Television & New Media, 20(2), 170-183. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527476418811118   

Mazzei, P., & Medina, J. (2020, October 21). False political news in Spanish pits Latino voters against Black Lives Matter. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/21/us/politics/spanish-election-2020-disinformation.html  

Mitchelstein, E., Matassi, M., & Boczkowski, P. J. (2020). Minimal effects, maximum panic: Social media and democracy in Latin America. Social Media+ Society, 6(4), 2056305120984452. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120984452  

Mochkofsky, G. (2022, January 14). The Latinx Community and COVID-Disinformation Campaigns. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-latinx-community-and-covid-disinformation-campaigns 

Nyhan, B., Porter, E., Reifler, J., & Wood, T. J. (2020). Taking fact-checks literally but not seriously? The effects of journalistic fact-checking on factual beliefs and candidate favorability. Political Behavior, 42, 939-960. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1007/s11109-019-09528-x 

Pennycook, G., & Rand, D. G. (2022). Nudging social media toward accuracy. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 700(1), 152-164. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027162221092342 

Pérez, E., HyunJeong Lee, J., Oaxaca Carrasco, A. L., Matthews, C., & Ritsema, M. (2023). Unexpected, but consistent and pre-registered: Experimental evidence on interview language and Latino views of COVID-19. Research & Politics, 10(2), 20531680231168736. https://doi.org/10.1177/20531680231168736 

Phillips, W., & Milner, R. M. (2021). You are here: A field guide for navigating polarized speech, conspiracy theories, and our polluted media landscape. MIT Press.

Porter, E., Velez, Y., & Wood, T. J. (2023). Correcting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation in 10 countries. Royal Society Open Science, 10(3), 221097. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.221097  

Roozenbeek, J., Van Der Linden, S., Goldberg, B., Rathje, S., & Lewandowsky, S. (2022). Psychological inoculation improves resilience against misinformation on social media. Science advances, 8(34), eabo6254. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abo6254  

Roozenbeek, J., van der Linden, S., & Nygren, T. (2020). Prebunking interventions based on ‘‘inoculation’’theory can reduce susceptibility to misinformation across cultures. Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review, 1 (2). https://doi.org/10.37016//mr-2020-008  

Schaffner, B. F., & Luks, S. (2018). Misinformation or expressive responding? What an inauguration crowd can tell us about the source of political misinformation in surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly, 82(1), 135-147. https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfx042  

Simon, F. M., & Camargo, C. Q. (2021). Autopsy of a metaphor: The origins, use and blind spots of the ‘infodemic’. new media & society, 14614448211031908. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211031908  

Soto-Vásquez, A. D., Gonzalez, A. A., Shi, W., Garcia, N., & Hernandez, J. (2021). COVID-19: Contextualizing misinformation flows in a US Latinx border community (media and communication during COVID-19). Howard Journal of Communications, 32(5), 421-439. https://doi.org/10.1080/10646175.2020.1860839  

Valenzuela, S., Muñiz, C., & Santos, M. (2022). Social media and belief in misinformation in mexico: a case of maximal panic, minimal effects?. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 19401612221088988. https://doi.org/10.1177/19401612221088988   

Velez, Y. R., Porter, E., & Wood, T. J. (2023). Latino-targeted misinformation and the power of factual corrections. The Journal of Politics, 85(2), 789-794. https://doi.org/10.1086/722345 

Vraga, E. K., Kim, S. C., & Cook, J. (2019). Testing logic-based and humor-based corrections for science, health, and political misinformation on social media. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 63(3), 393-414. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2019.1653102

Appendix I: Methodology

Disinformation Literature Review

The first aim of this report was to survey the state of disinformation studies and assess the extent to which U.S. Latinos were included in studies, including as subjects in samples. To approximate the field, the sample was limited to the top 100 cited studies. This generated a set of studies that could be reasonably assessed and also filtered in the most influential research. To collect the top 100 cited articles, Web of Science was used. Web of Science is the largest scientific citation search platform and can be used in a wide variety of ways to study scientific literature, connections between scholars, and the state of various fields. 

Using Web of Science, the search term Disinformation was used and a 5 year parameter was set. This search produced 2,361 results. A clear trend from this large set is a spike in academic attention toward the topic since 2020. 

The results were then sorted by number of citations and limited to the top 100 cited results. The range of number of citations in this list was 360 to 32. From this list, each paper was reviewed to asses the focus and/or inclusion of U.S. Latinos. In several cases, when a study stated their methodology included subjects from the United States, closer scrutiny was applied to determine whether the sample either mentioned it was ethnically/racially representative or reported its sample demographics. 

U.S. Latino Mis- and Disinformation Literature Review

The second aim of this study was to compile and review studies focused on U.S. Latinos and disinformation. Several search terms were used on Google Scholar and Academic Search Ultimate including: 

  1. Misinformation AND Latinos

  2. Disinformation AND Latinos

  3. Misinformation AND Spanish

  4. Disinformation AND Spanish

  5. Misinformation AND Hispanics

  6. Disinformation AND Hispanics

Inclusion criteria were broad, an article that focused on the extent, impact or discussion of mis- and disinformation on U.S. Latinos were included. From this initial set of studies, the references in each article were also reviewed to determine any other studies should be included. 

The resulting set of studies was relatively small. Each study was then closely read and placed into broad topically categories such as politics, health, interventions, and disinformation about Latinos. The articles are available in a tracker which can be updated as new studies are published here and as a bibliography in Appendix II.

Appendix II: U.S. Latinos Mis- and Disinformation Studies Bibliography

Abrajano, M., & Lajevardi, N. (2021). (Mis) Informed: What Americans know about social groups and why it matters for politics. Cambridge University Press.

Chavez, L. (2020). The Latino threat: Constructing immigrants, citizens, and the nation. Stanford University Press.

Cortina, J., & Rottinghaus, B. (2022). Conspiratorial thinking in the Latino community on the 2020 election. Research & Politics, 9(1), 20531680221083535. https://doi.org/10.1177/20531680221083535  

Lee, A. Y., Moore, R. C., & Hancock, J. T. (2023). Designing misinformation interventions for all: Perspectives from AAPI, Black, Latino, and Native American community leaders on misinformation educational efforts. Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review. https://doi.org/10.37016/mr-2020-111 

Orrego Dunleavy, V., Ahn, R., Mayo, D., & D. Grace, L. (2022). Addressing COVID-19 Misinformation and Resiliency Among Latinos Living With HIV: Formative Research Guiding the Latinos Unidos Microgame Intervention. American Behavioral Scientist, 00027642221124660. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027642221124660 

Flores-Yeffal, N. Y., Vidales, G., & Martinez, G. (2019). # WakeUpAmerica,# IllegalsAreCriminals: the role of the cyber public sphere in the perpetuation of the Latino cyber-moral panic in the US. Information, Communication & Society, 22(3), 402-419. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1388428 

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