Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social mediasites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively.
The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter.
Election disinformation had for months been a major subject of online misinformation, beginning even before the Nov. 3 election and pushed heavily by Trump and his allies.
The findings, from Jan. 9 through Friday, highlight how falsehoods flow across social media sites — reinforcing and amplifying each other — and offer an early indication of how concerted actions against misinformation can make a difference.
Trump’s banishment was followed by other actions by social media sites, including Twitter’s ban of more than 70,000 accountsaffiliated with the baseless QAnon ideology, which played a key role in fomenting the Capitol siege on Jan. 6.
“Together, those actions will likely significantly reduce the amount of online misinformation in the near term,” said Kate Starbird, disinformation researcher at the University of Washington. “What happens in the long term is still up in the air.”
YouTube should start banning channels that spread misinformation now. It’s way to easy to be recommended conspiracy videos that can lead you down a radicalization path.