Misinformation Goes On Vacation
Twitter and Facebook are still taking the heat for having revoked President Trump’s accounts. But here is an interesting conundrum: Does it even work? That is to say, does taking away someone’s megaphone to tell lies mean that fewer people are influenced by those lies.
Inconclusive but let’s look at some data.
In the week after the President was booted, misinformation dropped by 73% as discussions about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions.
But that doesn’t mean that all of those people who shared that information just changed their minds. Some of them will stop thinking about it as much but some of them will follow the President to whatever platform he chooses next like a pissed off hornets’ nest.
According to a recent study, moderating social media does decrease posting about a certain topic but it can also lead to “increases in signals associated with toxicity and radicalization, which justifies concerns that the reduction in activity may come at the expense of a more toxic and radical community.”
Meaning, the most dangerous users will find a new place to be even more dangerous.