US Election Misinformation Plummeted 73% After Donald Trump Was Banned On Twitter
Misinformation on Twitter related to the US election last year has gone down significantly since Donald Trump was banned.
Media intelligence company Zignal Labs found between the dates of January 9 and January 15, the spread of misinformation on the social media platform, particularly tweets about election fraud, fell by a whopping 73 per cent.
Specific topics relating to 'election fraud' like 'voter fraud,' 'stop the steal,' 'illegal votes,' and 'shredded ballots' also saw declines of between 67 and 99 per cent on Twitter.
The data highlights a disturbing trend in which falsehoods posted to social media can be both reinforced and amplified globally, which, in extreme cases can lead to events like we saw at the US Capitol.
The riots left five people dead after Trump supporters overpowered police and stormed the building in Washington D.C.
Trump's ban across a slew of social media platforms came following Twitter's ban of more than 70,000 accounts affiliated with the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Kate Starbird, disinformation researcher at the University of Washington, said of the findings: "Together, those actions will likely significantly reduce the amount of online misinformation in the near term.
"What happens in the long term is still up in the air."
Looking closely at trends, researchers found that Trump's followers retweeted his posts at a constant rate, giving his massive amplification across social media.
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University of Colorado information science professor Leysia Palen said in October, after months of research: "Trump's amplification machine is peerless."
Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, which tracks misinformation, added: "Bottom line is that de-platforming, especially at the scale that occurred last week, rapidly curbs momentum and ability to reach new audiences.
"That said, it also has the tendency to harden the views of those already engaged in the spread of that type of false information."
It comes following the app Parler, which many extreme conservatives used as a means of communication, was removed from various smartphone app stores.
Amazon joined Apple and Google in dropping the social media app from their stores over the potential to incite violence.
Following the bans, Parler CEO John Matze said the move could put the company out of business and raised free speech issues, while calling it 'an assault on everybody.'
"Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day," he told Fox News.
"They all work together to make sure at the same time we would lose access to not only our apps, but they're actually shutting all of our servers off tonight, off the internet.
"They made an attempt to not only kill the app, but to actually destroy the entire company. And it's not just these three companies. Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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