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Is social media being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states? Show more Show less
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The 2016 US Presidential election saw the use of fake news to concentrate polarising content in swing states, and to intimidate certain groups of people into not showing up to vote. Under the extreme pressure of the 2020 Presidential elections, is social media being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states?

No, social media is not being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states Show more Show less

Social media is not being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states. The use of fake news in politics is overstated and voter suppression is a myth.
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Twitter is robust to the spread of fake news

Social media is not being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states. Platforms like Twitter acknowledge the threat of disinformation on society, and in particular on political outcomes. They will take action to ensure disinformation does not influence the US election.
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The Argument

Twitter has already flagged Trump's tweets as misleading and provides a link under tweets such as "mail boxes will be robbed", reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots." These links take users to robust fact-checking articles from CNN and the Washington Post along with a number of tweets from journalists debunking his claim. Social media platforms like Twitter acknowledge the threat disinformation and fake news have on society, and in particular on political outcomes. They will take action to ensure disinformation does not influence the US election.

Counter arguments

Twitter is not actually deleting the tweets, only flagging them as misleading. Not all users may read the link taking them to fact-checking pages, and may therefore be misled by potential conspiracy theories. Users in swing states could potentially be more likely to believe such statements. Other social media sites including Facebook have chosen not to take actions on Trump's posts. Trump posted the same statement about mail-in fraud on Facebook, where it received 170,000 reactions and was shared 17,000 times. Although Facebook's policy is to remove content which misrepresents voting and voter registration, it will not take action against Trump: “We believe that people should be able to have a robust debate about the electoral process, which is why we have crafted our policies to focus on misrepresentations that would interfere with the vote.”[1]

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/twitter-trump-tweet-fake-news-coronavirus-misinformation-policy-a9534411.html
This page was last edited on Saturday, 24 Oct 2020 at 16:53 UTC

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