Spreading The Big Lie: How Social Media Sites Have Amplified False Claims of U.S. Election Fraud

Sep 16, 2022 | by
  • Description

This report assesses the role the major social media platforms have played in the spread of election denialism and recommends what they can do now to mitigate further harm to democratic institutions and norms.

Its main findings include:

  • Facebook's continued exemption of politicians from its fact-checking program facilitates election-denial lies by influential public figures.
  • Twitter's on-again/off-again enforcement of its Civic Integrity Policy has allowed denialism to gain momentum since early 2021. A whistleblower's complaint in August 2022 described the company's efforts to stem misinformation as poorly managed, starved for resources, and focused on putting out public relations "fires."
  • Increasingly plagued by politicalmisinformation, TikTok has announced tough-sounding policies related to elections, but the platform's haphazard enforcement has failed to slow the spread of deniers' lies.
  • YouTube has allowed its popular long-form video platform to be exploited by proponents of disinformation such as the myth of widespread "ballot trafficking" as portrayed in the movie "2000 Mules."