Sudden Drop In Fake News After The Banning Of Donald Trump From Various Online Platforms


Following the protesters and rioters that stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6th, various social media and online platforms have banned Donald Trump.

From Twitter to Facebook, Snapchat and others that even include Reddit, have moved and banned any online verified presence of the U.S. President, and tried to stop the growth of his various followers, fans and some other extremists, by cracking down various discussion groups.

The result of all this, is a sudden drop in the online spread of fake news.

It has been long known that Donald Trump's favorite method of online communication, had been through his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. It was through Twitter that trump often pushed policies, shared news, fired aids and officials, spread his own opinions, savage rivals and opponents, and praised allies and whoever he likes.

Without his Twitter account, the spread of misinformation has slowed significantly.

And that to an extent that even QAnon ideology, right-wing conspiracy accounts and theorists that are known for spreading disinformation are also seeing massive slowing down.

Donald Trump using his phone
The U.S. President Donald Trump checking his cellphone at the State Dining Room of the White House on June 18, 2020. (Credit: Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images)

The findings was shared by researchers at Zignal Labs, saying that online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73% in the weeklong period following Twitter’s decision to ban Trump.

“Zignal found that the use of hashtags affiliated with the Capitol riot also dipped considerably,” wrote The Washington Post that first published the findings.

“Mentions of the hashtag #FightforTrump, which was widely deployed across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media services in the week before the rally, dropped 95 percent. #HoldTheLine and the term ‘March for Trump’ also fell more than 95 percent.”

The research by Zignal, as well as from others, suggests that misinformation, malinformation and disinformation on the web are composed of high-profile influencers and other powerful figures.

And Trump himself, was at the central.

He was the vehicle that drove millions of Americans to reject the election results. Before he was banned, Trump's messages through his 'megaphone' on the internet was amplified by his followers and fans, and also conspiracy theorists, to help dilute facts with Trump's baseless personal opinions.

Researchers have found that Trump’s tweets were retweeted by his supporters at a remarkable rate.

No matter what he said, his fans will retweet him and spread the words, giving Trump a virtually unmatched ability to shape or reshape any online conversation. By eliminating Trump's verified presence on the web, many forms of misinformation, malinformation and disinformation are all going down with him.

This is ironic, knowing that Trump himself has been credited with popularizing the term "fake news" by using it to describe any negative press coverage.

Donald Trump has spent years spreading his own thoughts on Twitter and other platforms.

And as the President of the United States. Trump is a country leader, and it was important for social media companies to allow him to freely communicate with the public.

But following the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol Building, online platforms are hastily banning the President, after years of letting him off the hook.

Trump has enough enjoying his executive privilege to do and say what he wanted to be done and said.

“Bottom line is that de-platforming, especially at the scale that occurred last week, rapidly curbs momentum and ability to reach new audiences,” said Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which tracks misinformation.

“That said, it also has the tendency to harden the views of those already engaged in the spread of that type of false information.”

Following his ban, Trump was seen tweeting from other online accounts he have control of, like from the @WhiteHouse and the @POTUS Twitter accounts.

Trump has also reportedly considered opening an account on Parler, a social media platform favored by conservatives, and had his son asking Elon Musk to create another social media network to "save free speech in America".

Further reading: After Banning Donald Trump, Things Are 'Going To Be Much Bigger' Than Just That