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After Trump bans, online misinformation dropped a staggering 73%

Who would have guessed that deplatforming actually works?

donald trump and facebook and twitter
Image: KnowTechie

Donald Trump has spent months (and years) twisting truths and spreading variably false statements on social media and little was done to stop it.

Sure, Twitter added some warnings and such, but let’s be real here, those only powered up his base. Recently, however, social media platforms took greater actions and banned Trump off of Twitter and Facebook, and even YouTube has suspended his channel.

But how effective are those bans in stopping the spread of misinformation? Surprisingly, it seems to be extremely effective. According to a new report from research firm Zignal Labs and reported on by The Washington Post, misinformation dropped by 73 percent.

Their research showed that mentions about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across websites like Twitter and Facebook. Also, hashtags like #FightforTrump, #HoldTheLine, and more showed large drops.

Another study highlighted in The Washington Post report notes that large pro-Donald Trump accounts (20 in total) were considered “superspreaders.” This report found that these accounts were responsible for 1/5 of the retweets spreading misinformation about the election.

It makes you wonder, if social platforms had taken action earlier, would things like the US Capitol riots have been avoided? Of course, there was still Parler, but much of this discourse started on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Have any thoughts on this? Surprised by the study’s findings? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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