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Misinformation drops significantly after Trump's Twitter suspension, says a study

Misinformation drops significantly after Trump's Twitter suspension, says a study

Posted January. 18, 2021 07:50,   

Updated January. 18, 2021 07:50


Misinformation about the U.S. presidential election fraud has gone down significantly across social media since U.S. President Donald Trump was kicked out of Twitter, according to a newly released analysis report.

San Francisco-based analytics firm Zignal Labs carried out a study on information that was distributed and shared across social media between Jan. 9, the next day when Twitter blocked President Trump’s account, and Jan. 15, according to the Washington Post on Saturday. Online comments claiming a fraud regarding the U.S. presidential election amounted to about 688,000 posts, showing a 73 percent drop compared to the previous week’s 2.5 million or so.  

Zignal Labs also found that the use of hashtags associated with the riot on Capitol Hill that took the lives of five people decreased remarkably. The hashtag #FightforTrump was mentioned 95 percent less while the hashtags #HoldTheLine and #MarchforTrump dropped more than 95 percent.

Being accused of inciting violence and insurrection among the Capitol rioters, President Trump has been blocked permanently from accessing Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and other major social media. Twitter has blocked around 70,000 accounts affiliated with far-right conspiracy organization QAnon.

“The research by Zignal and other groups suggests that a powerful, integrated disinformation ecosystem — composed of high-profile influencers, rank-and-file followers, and Trump himself — was central to pushing millions of Americans to reject the election results and may have trouble surviving without his social media accounts,” said The Washington Post. “The findings, from Jan. 9 through Friday, highlight how falsehoods flow across social media sites — reinforcing and amplifying each other.”

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com