How Voting by Mail Tops Election Misinformation


Of all of the election misinformation this 12 months, false and deceptive details about voting by mail has been probably the most rampant, based on Zignal Labs, a media insights firm.

Simply how a lot larger has it been? Of the 13.4 million mentions of voting by mail on social media; information on tv, print and on-line; blogs and on-line boards between January and September, practically a fourth — or 3.1 million mentions — have most probably been misinformation, Zignal Labs mentioned.

That was 160 % greater than the 1.2 million mentions of misinformation on Invoice and Hillary Clinton and their Clinton Basis, the following largest class, Zignal mentioned. Different misinformation classes included George Soros, the billionaire investor and Democratic donor (915,300 mentions); misinformation about vaccines (628,700 mentions); and Kamala Harris “birtherism” claims (69,200 mentions).

The deceptive details about voting by mail was not uniform. It broke down into six essential classes, based on the evaluation. Within the month of September, they included:

  • mentions of absentee voting or ballots, such because the false concept that it will likely be an unreliable option to vote: 410,918 mentions

  • mentions of voter fraud, similar to mentions of deceptive tales about felony conduct involving mail-in ballots: 345,040 mentions

  • mentions of voter IDs, such because the baseless concept that in states with strict voter ID legal guidelines, mail-in ballots have been dumped out: 31,021 mentions

  • mentions of international interference, similar to inaccurately asserting that “international powers” are counterfeiting tens of millions of votes: 11,857 mentions

  • mentions of poll “harvesting,” a loaded political time period used by President Trump for poll assortment, a course of that’s authorized in 26 states the place somebody apart from a member of the family can drop off your absentee poll for you: 10,562 mentions

  • mentions of a “rigged election”: 10,140 mentions

Fb, YouTube and Twitter have made combating false information about voting a precedence, together with highlighting correct info on the way to vote and the way to register to vote. However the platforms have struggled to use their election misinformation insurance policies evenly, and most of the false posts are usually not eliminated except the messages are express about inflicting imminent hurt within the voting course of.

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