Xīn Shēng | 心声 Project is a youth-led organization with 100+ volunteers across the world. Founded in June 2020, we are dedicated to combating in-language disinformation that often leaves the most marginalized AAPIs—recent immigrants, the elderly and non-English speakers—the most vulnerable. Our timely, culturally-sensitive, and multilingual content reaches hundreds of thousands of readers on WeChat and other digital platforms. We encourage intergenerational dialogue on a range of topics including racism, LGBTQIA+ issues, and class solidarity. Xīn Shēng Project is a model for how AAPI groups can establish in-language news media that respond to the specific needs of our communities.
Here's the Issue:
With over 1.5 million monthly users in the US, WeChat is among the largest social networks for Chinese Americans. Yet over time, WeChat has become a Petri dish of disinformation and incubator of radicalization.
On a day-to-day basis, WeChat peddles sensationalized headlines and conspiracy theories that leave the most marginalized AAPIs—recent immigrants, the elderly and non-English speakers—the most vulnerable.
The WeChat problem parallels dangers facing other AAPI communities who are similarly reliant on in-language reporting. Overlooking in-language media leaves AAPIs prone to disinformation, but also misses tremendous opportunities to build inclusive and empowering narratives for AAPI communities to support one another.
At a time when cross-racial coalitions to #StopAAPIHate and vaccination campaigns are more important than ever, the ethno-nationalism and disinformation stoked by WeChat pose an immediate threat to the wellbeing of all AAPI communities. Without dedicated intervention, WeChat’s damage will only worsen.
The solution to in-language disinformation requires both timely, culturally-sensitive, and multilingual counter-narratives in addition to sustained engagement with AAPI immigrant communities.
Xīn Shēng | 心声 Project is committed to this relational work. We leverage over 80 community partners and a base of 100+ volunteers to provide intergenerational, culturally-sensitive, and multilingual counter-narratives to otherwise unchallenged disinformation in the WeChat media-space.
Our team researches, writes, designs, and translates articles for dissemination onto WeChat. Not only do we combat disinformation, but we also proactively prevent it by building political consciousness amongst Chinese Americans through building WeChat groups, leading teach-ins, and facilitating intergenerational family conversations.
People’s unique experiences and perspectives must be bridged in order for them to feel seen, heard, and empowered. With meaningful interventions, not only can we combat disinformation, but we can also write stronger narratives for AAPI communities—both on and offline.
We're the right people to do the work because:
The crux of our project is that our audience is our community. Our team has watched our family and community members succumb to WeChat disinformation. We understand firsthand how challenging it is to have complex and compassionate conversations about race and social justice among AAPI families. Yet, people are most likely to listen to and talk with members of their own community whom they love and trust.
That is why our 100+ volunteers are a coalition of 1.5-generation and later Chinese Americans, international students, and immigrant parents, among others. We also have over 80 partnerships with community organizers, non-profits, WeChat blogs, and AAPI academics with whom we generate and disseminate our content. Equipped with diverse lived experiences and deep compassion for our community, Xīn Shēng | 心声 Project is able to approach our audiences’ needs and communication styles more effectively — and more urgently — than anyone else could.