Facebook, Twitter, Etc. May Have a Voting Issue

July 15, 2022

Former President Donald Trump claimed that any news not in his favor was “fake news.” While Trump’s claim is not true, large amounts of fake news has been swirling around the Internet since his administration and before. It is only getting worse, especially with conspiracy theorists that believe the 2020 election was fixed. Salon shares how the conspiracy theorists are chasing another fake villain: “‘Big Lie’ Vigilantes Publish Targets Online-But Facebook and Twitter Are Asleep At The Wheel.”

People who believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump have “ballot mules” between their crosshairs. Ballot mules are accused of dropping off absentee ballots during the previous election. Vigilantes have been encouraged to bring ballot mules to justice. They are using social media to “track them down.”

Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and other social media platforms have policies that forbid violence, harassment, and impersonation of government officials. The vigilantes posted information about the purported ballot mules, but the pictures do not show them engaging in illegal activity. Luckily none of the “ballot mules” have been harmed.

“Disinformation researchers from the nonpartisan clean-government nonprofit Common Cause alerted Facebook and Twitter that the platforms were allowing users to post such incendiary claims in May. Not only did the claims lack evidence that crimes had been committed, but experts worry that poll workers, volunteers, and regular voters could face unwarranted harassment or physical harm if they are wrongfully accused of illegal election activity…

Emma Steiner, a disinformation analyst with Common Cause who sent warnings to the social-media companies, says the lack of action suggests that tech companies relaxed their efforts to police election-related threats ahead of the 2022 midterms. ‘This is the new playbook, and I’m worried that platforms are not prepared to deal with this tactic that encourages dangerous behavior,’ Steiner said.”

There is also a documentary Trump titled called 2000 Mules that claims ballot mules submitted thousands of false absentee ballots. Attorney General William Barr and other reputable people debunked the “documentary.” While the 2020 election was not rigged, conspiracy theorists creating and believing misinformation could damage the democratic process and the US’s future.

Whitney Grace, July 15, 2022


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