The Washington Post said that the storming of the Capitol building and its accompanying events on January 6 was a “shocking” thing for everyone except for a group of researchers who were closely following the story of escalating disinformation about the US presidential elections, who recently issued A report that helps to understand what really happened and how it can be avoided in the future.
The newspaper stated – in its editorial – that the “Election Integrity Partnership” group, which is one of the American bodies interested in tracking and studying propaganda, misleading news and conspiracy theories on the Internet, has sought to link more than 10,000 local and state polling stations with federal agencies, I came to understand the sequence and causes of the violence and riots during the storming of the Capitol.
The story, as the report reflected, is simply that former President Donald Trump and his allies, including prominent right-wing commentators on both traditional news networks and digital platforms, made the president’s supporters and supporters anticipate an “election theft”, after which these misleading allegations were spread in every direction. And in various ways and methods.
The influencers on the Internet and social networking sites broadcast facts that are purely fabricated to confirm the hypothesis of theft, and at other times they fabricated lies that are elaborate of their own, and gradually and escalating the echo of these “mini-narratives” that serve the “big story” (meaning the theft of elections) on various platforms.
These influencers benefited – according to the results of the report – from the peculiarities of each site or platform in order to increase the rates of reach of the masses, and were able to avoid the ban or complete closure of their accounts by exploiting the differences between each platform in terms of usage policies and the party to implement them.
Although the various social media platforms tried to amend their policies when the elections were taking place, this was not sufficient to stop the disinformation campaigns and limit their repercussions.
The newspaper stresses that from now on, the federal government must deal with the electronic media system and communication platforms as a vital infrastructure by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each party through its various agencies to protect the speech related to the elections and issuing assessments of the size of potential threats.
This effort will also include coordination with and between platforms, and with state and local officials who must be more concerned with improving the level of communication with voters regarding the path of their ballot papers.
The report of the “Partnership for Election Integrity” group indicates that despite all the efforts that will be made, it will not be possible to rid American society of bad and misleading information, but instead it is possible to build a “resilience” so that society can in the coming times strip “Spirits of sedition and unrest” from all their weapons through anticipation, prevention, monitoring, exposing and prior collective planning.