Donald Trump, who launched Twitter and Facebook after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, eventually launched his own platform, Truth Social, after a stumbled launch in April 2022. I’m Back! #COVFEFE”.
But to concede defeat to Joe Biden, Trump is now suggesting he seeks out the White House again in 2024.
And in Tuesday’s midterm elections, he doubled the conspiracy theory votes he’s been swinging ever since the 2016 election he won, and has amplified since his defeat four years later.
Trump has shared about 100 posts on Truth Social in the past 58 days, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the US election, according to an AFP analysis.
“Oh, see you again!” Trump headlined Nov. 1 misleadingly about voting in Pennsylvania.
“Election fraud!” Trump added.
This tactic echoed his playbook for 2020, where he repeatedly tweeted before the election that mail-in ballots were rife with fraud. Since then, dozens of lawsuits have ruled differently.
But such misinformation could undermine Americans’ confidence in voting in the first national poll since the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, experts say. I’m here.
“When leaders tell their supporters they can’t count on an election, they believe it,” Russell Muirhead, a professor of politics and democracy at Dartmouth College, told AFP.
“Trump’s claim that the election is flawed (when it isn’t) does one thing: it is eroding American democracy.”
Trump posts frequently on Truth Social, sometimes dozens of times a day.
Over the past two months, he has attacked Biden and Democrats, criticized the ongoing investigation against him, and praised his own rallies and accomplishments.
Trump has also lavished Republicans who backed his election fraud allegations, including Kari Lake, who suggested he might reject the result if he lost the bid to become Arizona governor. I have admired it.
And he’s been more brazen than ever before with extremist content, including dozens of posts from QAnon conspiracy theory promoters.
Trump’s reach on Truth Social is relatively small at 4.46 million compared to 88.8 million on Twitter, but the misinformation he spread has resonated on the internet, according to experts.
Muirhead, who was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2020 as a Democrat, said, “If Trump put toxins in the water, the whole lake would be ruined.” — A play on Trump’s catchphrases.
The Trump office and the main political action committee, Save America, did not respond to requests for comment.
The former president has backed hundreds of pro-Trump articles, polls and memes. Some of them refer to QAnon and come from accounts with names like “Patriotic American Alpha Source”. One of the posts he shared called Biden “#PedoHitler.”
Rebecca Tromble, director of the Center for Data, Democracy and Politics at George Washington University, said: “Trump still wields great influence in the Republican and right-wing media ecosystems, and all his claims are amplified. .
Last October, Trump organized a ballot drop-box stake out in Arizona to promote several posts by Melody Jennings, the founder of a group that catches suspected cheaters.
The post included claims that Jennings was claiming a “mule” at a box near Phoenix. It was a reference to a discredited film conspiracy theory that people were smuggling illegal ballots, and it also included pictures of voters.
The voter in question had deposited ballots for himself and his wife, who was in the car, according to witness statements he provided in the lawsuit against Jennings’ group, Clean Elections USA. , filed a state voter intimidation complaint.
The incident is reminiscent of Trump’s 2020 false claim that Georgia election officials were caught counting “suitcases” of fraudulent ballots in the middle of the night. A video Trump retweeted showed the normal processing of legal ballots, state officials concluded.
But the damage was done.
Election official Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shay Moss received death threats. At the request of the FBI, Freeman said he left home for two months.
Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk has shown plans to lift the ban on President Trump, but not before the midterm elections.
If Trump announces his candidacy for the next presidential election, both Twitter and Facebook may feel pressure to give the once-prolific ex-president the megaphone back.
“This is not a game. When conspiracy theories like the one about so-called voting mules are debunked, they do real harm to innocent Americans.”