The Xin Sheng Project — formerly known as the WeChat Project — has been a volunteer project through which Ding and the youth-led Sunrise Arcadia have been translating facts about homelessness for Chinese speakers and dispelling some of the myths being circulated.
How WeChat Fueled Chinese American Debate Over Affirmative Action
Niu said progressive voices on WeChat have grown rapidly in the past few years . . . such as Xin Sheng Project, a fact-checking initiative founded by a group of Chinese American college students who immigrated to the U.S. as children.
...the WeChat Project focuses on creating in-language political resources that can be readily distributed through ethnic news media and social networks. The mission of The WeChat Project is to fight right-wing misinformation on WeChat, to provide alternative progressive views, and to spark and continue intergenerational conversations on these topics
New organizations have also
emerged to help Asian American communities to better understand affirmative action and to challenge myths and misinformation. For example, the WeChat Project launched when a group of college students mobilized
to write essays in English and Chinese to encourage intergenerational dialogue on affirmative action, as well as share information and counter misinformation and fake news.
What exactly is “misinformation” and what is being done about it? With our guests from The WeChat Project, we look at a case study of second-generation Asian Americans combating misinformation about Black Lives Matter, racism, and affirmative action. They remind us of the traumas many immigrant parents face and offer tips on how to engage in productive dialogue—that avoid misinformation—on social media.
For the Chinese diaspora, there's
not only this generational divide [between children and parents and grandparents]; there's often also a language and a cultural divide... The WeChat Project is trying to bridge the gap by starting conversations between the generations online.
“When people come to us and say, ‘This is why I’m joining [Xīn Shēng Project],’ everybody has a story about how this is important in their life, about how disinformation affects their own understanding of the world, their families … their relationships with one another, and how they’re able to make it through, especially recent new cycles of anti-Asian violence,” Guo said about her experiences recruiting team members.
A series of essays written by second-generation Chinese Americans urging their parents to support the movement and responses from the older generation went viral after appearing on Chinese American. In the election season, editors published another series of letters fostering conversations between liberal young Chinese Americans and their parents, who are often conservative.
At its core, that’s what the initiative is about—conversation. Its Chinese name, 心声, literally translates to “voices from the heart.” That name reflects The WeChat Project’s emphasis on mutual respect and understanding over didacticism. Such work requires empathizing with the historical traumas both older and younger generations have suffered and how those experiences may impact political affiliations.
We’re trying to bring
these leftist, progressive points of view to WeChat, and in doing that we’re finding that we’re reaching not just people who are first-generation or our parents’ ages. We’ve expanded our work into English-language social media too, as we’ve realized the power of social media in general for bringing these progressive ideas to people and to start conversations.
For example, there is the Xinsheng Project, formerly called The WeChat Project... They then felt like [Black Lives Matter] content need[s] to get more space and need to be read. But they primarily wrote in English, so they teamed up with a lot of international students who helped them to translate it to Chinese, and they published it on WeChat.
Diasporas, Disinformation, Disenfranchisement: Addressing Non-English Election Disinformation
Civil society actors have consistently been the fastest to sound the alarm in noticing and acting against disinformation targeting communities of color... Examples of this include the Xin Sheng Project... started by second-generation Chinese Americans during the 2020 elections to address misinformation they observed on WeChat.