How online misinformation unfolded after Election Day, boosted by Trump and his allies

November 05, 2020

Since Election Day, social media users on nearly every major platform have spread rumors of discarded ballots, mysterious new votes and sudden halts in the vote-counting process to raise doubts about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s gains in battleground states.

Many of the rumors found a home in the social media accounts of President Donald Trump, his campaign and his family. Trump and his family have amplified false and misleading posts alleging voter fraud since the early morning hours of Nov. 4, despite the lack of any proven fraud or major errors in the ballot-counting process.

Trump has made baseless claims of voter fraud the centerpiece of his fight for re-election, and his campaign filed lawsuits in three states that raise concerns about absentee ballots and demand more access to ballot-counting centers. 

"The most remarkable thing is simply how predictable the disinformation has been," said Rebekah Tromble, director of the Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics at George Washington University. "The Trump campaign telegraphed its strategy months in advance, making their response the last few days entirely predictable."

Read more