Stop the steal

An online auction has these Trump proponents persuaded the election was stolen by the equity of Pennsylvania — the state that eventually sloped the election in favor of President-elect Joe Biden — proponents of President Donald Trump gathered to dispute the election result this weekend.

The past four years in America have been an education in how complaints and misinformation on social media don’t just stay online — they spill out into the streets, can exemplify as unrest, and, as seen in Harrisburg, this weekend, be used in endeavors to weaken the bedrock of American democracy: available and decent elections.

Trump proponents here huddled under the banner “Stop the Steal,” assured the election had been stolen.

One woman told me she had seen so much “evidence” that the election had been rigged she would endorse an entire re-vote.

But the video she referred to as evidence of a rigged American election is not real.

It has been disseminating on social media for days, even being retweeted by Eric Trump, the President’s son, but the video does not show Trump votes being scorched, as some have claimed.

Election officials in Virginia, where the papers that looked like votes appeared to be from, have explained that what you see in the video are sample votes. The votes in the video were sample votes,” the City of Virginia Beach said in a press release last week.

Trump proponents’ use of inaccurate data in this way is not unique; it is not a one-off.

Other fighters I talked to in Harrisburg cited an immediate modification in an online result map in favor of Biden on election night in Michigan as evidence that something had gone awry. Trump had heightened that claim himself on his Twitter account. But that too is misinformation (a thorough debunk here). Twitter named Trump’s post with a message that read “Some or all of the subject budgeted in this Tweet is doubted and might be misleading”

Sometimes Trump will retweet a post with false claims that are already going viral. At other times, Trump will create his information by posting false claims. Trump and his proponents have used misinformation as “evidence” to prove the validity of more misinformation.

Social media heightens the problem — attending to as an engine for misinformation to spread.

Over the past week, Twitter, and to a secondary magnitude Facebook, controversial steps to label as misinformation false posts from the President as he pursues to undermine the innocence of the election.

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