Trump's twitter ban led to huge drop in election misinformation

GNN  |  Jan 18, 2021

Twitter's ban on US President Donald Trump's account has led to a 73% decrease in election misinformation on social media, new research has revealed.

From January 9 - 15, misinformation about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million to around 688,000 posts, social analytics firm Zignal Labs has said.

While Twitter was the first one to ban Donald Trump, it wasn't the only social media app to do so. Multiple others, including Facebook and YouTube did the same, some permanently while others will lift suspension after Joe Biden becomes President.

Twitter banned Trump's account on January 8, two days after a riot in Washington DC led to the Capitol building coming under siege by supporters of the outgoing President. The company cited further incitement of violence as the reason for the permanent ban, after five people, including a cop, lost their lives in the deadly assault on the legislature building. Trump had repeatedly used his account to claim the election held on November 2 was rigged and "stolen" from him. Twitter had appended multiple fact-checking labels to the account in the weeks following the election result where Trump was resoundingly beaten by Joe Biden. Trump later tried to use the official POTUS account, posting a video where he complained that bans by twitter and other social media apps was an assault on freedom of speech. After Biden's inaugration on January 20, he will no longer have access to that account.

On January 12, Twitter removed another 70,000 accounts engaged in promoting election fraud theories, most belonging to Q-Anon, the conspiracy theories cult that most Trump followers subscribe to. Facebook too followed suit, removing content that said "stop the steal". 

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