The fact-check Farce on social media

Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter, Inc., testified at a distance during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled ‘Breaking the News: censorship, repression and the 2020 election’.


Our Senate TV via Cnp / Zuma Press

In recent years, liberal social media companies have successfully strived to police conservative content more and more aggressively. But there is little evidence that this political interference has reduced the incidence of misinformation online – and a new study shows how it can exacerbate the problem.

In the study – by Dino Christenson of Boston University and Sarah Kreps and Douglas Kriner of Cornell – volunteers were shown on May 26 by President Trump attacking the entries and claiming that ‘mailboxes would be robbed, ballot papers forged and even illegally expressed and fraudulently signed. ”

Groups of participants also have ‘corrections’ for the tweet from mr. Trump, including Twitter, shownsay

“An explanatory text in which the allegations are ‘unfounded’ according to major media, including CNN and the Washington Post.”

Conservatives did not find the main assurances of the media convincing. For Republicans who used Twitter’s effort to oust the president, the belief that postal voter fraud was more than 13% higher than in control. “Or, as the authors put it, ‘corrections have heightened misperceptions among those who tend to believe President Trump.’

Good job, Twitter: In your Resistance zeal, you may have caught the attention of the email fraud idea under Mr. Trump’s core supporters increase. The overall effect was a washout, the authors find, because Democrats would be more likely to believe the corrections. But when it comes to Republicans, the site may have been in Mr. Trump’s hands played.

It’s not a mystery why this could be. Twitter and the general press – to put it mildly – did little to appeal to Mr. Trump to prove that they are honest reporters of facts and judges of news. And it was before Twitter’s scandalous eclipse in October against the New York Post that criticized Joe Biden’s family.

Twitter is now spotted with corrections on tweets about voter fraud. Mr. Trump’s claims of massive post-election fraud are dubious and undermine confidence in elections. But they are slowly collapsing due to their lack of evidence, not due to corrections on social media.

The market of ideas is a better car to sort truth out of falsehood than self-proclaimed gatekeepers who have earned no social authority. Big Tech companies will serve themselves and the country better by not venturing deeper into these political thickets.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is likely to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to denounce the company’s unprecedented speech against a New York Post story that could embarrass the Joe Biden campaign. Images: NY Post / AFP / Getty Composite: Mark Kelly

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