Election misinformation dropped 73 percent following Trump’s suspension from Twitter: research


Misinformation surrounding the topic of election fraud dropped by 73 percent after President Trump and several others were suspended from mainstream social media accounts, according to research conducted by Zignal Labs. 

The research firm reported that discourse around election fraud dropped  from 2.5 million mentions across social media platforms to close to 688,000, following the president’s permanent suspension from Twitter, according to The Washington Post.

Twitter first banned Trump’s account shortly after a violent mob of his supporters attacked the Capitol building on Jan. 6. The platform said it was concerned that Trump’s future posts could incite more violence after the Capitol riots left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. 

Twitter announced after Trump’s ban that it had also banned over 70,000 accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory. 

Facebook has indefinitely suspended Trump’s account until at least President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, and YouTube also suspended his account temporarily.  

The research studied online misinformation from Jan. 1 to Jan. 8, the week leading up to Trump’s suspension, and misinformation the week after Trump’s suspension from Jan. 9 to Jan. 15, according to the Post. 

While Trump was on social media, he claimed repeatedly that the 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen” due to widespread voter fraud. However, state and federal election officials as well as former Attorney General Bill Barr have stated that there was no substantial evidence of widespread voter fraud. 

Popular hashtags that were used to spread election fraud misinformation also dropped significantly in the same time period, according to the research including #FightForTrump, which dropped 95.5 percent, and #HoldTheLine which  dropped 94.3 percent.

While election fraud conspiracy theories have gone down online, mentions of “Qanon” and “Q” went up 15 percent. Many who attacked the Capitol claimed they were followers of Qanon conspiracy theories. 

However, other Qanon popular phrases like “We Are the New Snow” and “QanonJapanFlynn” went down 98.6 percent and 95.5 percent, respectively. 

After Trump was banned, he said he would go to a new social media platform or make his own. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and senior advisor, reportedly convinced him not to join Parler, a social media platform that touts free speech.

Tags Donald Trump Jared Kushner Joe Biden online misinformation

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