Twitter finally resolved to ban Donald Trump. This decision had a significant impact on the amount of false information that pollutes the platform. Since the outgoing president’s ouster, the number of fake news shared on the social network has indeed fallen by 73%, reports a study.
In early January, Twitter temporarily blocked Donald Trump’s account after the Capitol riots. Jack Dorsey’s social network was quickly imitated by other platforms used by the tenant of the White House to communicate, including Facebook, YouTube, TikTok or Snapchat.
Fearing that the billionaire would stoke the violence of his supporters, Twitter finally banned Donald Trump indefinitely. “We have taken the decision to suspend this account in order to limit the risks of incitement to violence” announced the platform on January 9, 2021, in the wake of its decision.
Fake news has dwindled on Twitter since Trump’s forced departure
According to a study by Zignal Labs, relayed by our colleagues from the Washington Post, the exclusion of Donald Trump was accompanied by a sharp drop in fake news shared on Twitter. Between January 9 and 15, Zignal Labs noticed a 73% drop in tweets referring to electoral fraud during the US elections. Heated by Donald Trump, many activists accuse Joe Biden and the Democrats of falsifying the election result. These unfounded assertions are at the origin of the attack on the Capitol.
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The study also recorded 67-99% decrease in misinformation related to related terms like “illegal votes”, “electoral fraud” or even “stolen election”, one of the favorite expressions of the Republican candidate. Without Donald Trump to fuel the fire, activists apparently calmed down. To explain this collapse of fake news, Zignal Labs also points the finger the suspension of many accounts linked to the QAnon movement. In recent weeks, Twitter has cleaned up the platform. De facto, the number of tweets using terms associated with the movement has dropped by 15%.
Source: Washington Post