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Opinion: What if Twitter had banned Trump sooner?

January 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 50.4%. 2 min read.

Dean Obeidllah writes that new research confirms that President Donald Trump's social media peddling of his lie about election fraud was a driving factor in spreading misinformation to his followers. "It's abundantly clear that social media companies need to act far more swiftly in the future when people -- especially public figures with immense followings -- use their platforms to spread dangerous misinformation."

(CNN)President Donald Trump's lie that he was cheated of a victory in the November election, which he peddled on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, was a driving factor in spreading misinformation on this issue.

Research released Friday found that online discussions about election fraud plunged a whopping 73% since Twitter and other social media companies banned Trump and his key allies on January 8.

Zignal's research confirmed the view of many experts that Trump and his allies had created via social media what the Washington Post calls "a powerful, integrated disinformation ecosystem" that was central to pushing millions of Americans to reject the election results.

Zignal found that online conversations about election fraud dropped from 2. 5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Twitter banned Trump.

And since Trump and some of his supporters were blocked on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms, the use of hashtags such as #FightforTrump and terms like "March for Trump" had fallen a remarkable 95%.

What if the social media platforms had banned Trump from its platforms after he first began spewing lies about election fraud in early November?

If people had not been fed Trump's election lies for two months, would the January 6 attack on our Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to "Stop the Steal" still have taken place?

There's no disputing that Trump's primary means of peddling lies about the election was social media.

In the 24 days post-Election Day, as Variety documented, Twitter had labeled 200 of Trump's tweets as including "disputed" or false information about the election.

At the time, Trump was peddling false claims that the election was "100% rigged" and that "There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!!"

Trump continued non-stop to employ social media to undermine our democracy as well as call for his supporters to attend his January 6 rally.

Obviously, there's no way to know with certainty if events would have unfolded differently if social media had not waited until after the deadly Capitol siege to ban Trump.

A new NBC poll released Sunday morning found that 38% percent of Americans say social media is "solely" or "mainly" responsible for the "rioters overtaking the U. S. Capitol. " Another 41% responded social media is at least "somewhat" responsible for the attack -- with only 19% absolving these platforms of any responsibility.

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