When pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol at the beginning of the month, many a social media platform took action against the soon-to-be-replaced President. Twitter was one of the first to do so, and while the move was a long time coming, it was unclear what kind of impact it had. A new report from researchers at Zignal Labs aims to shed light on this, noting how the Trump Twitter ban affected election fraud misinformation.
More specifically the research firm says misinformation related to election fraud following the Trump Twitter ban. Looking at the period between 9th and 15th January, Zignal Labs reports that conversations about fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688 000.
Added to this the hashtag #FightforTrump, which was linked to the aforementioned US Capitol riot, also saw a significant decrease of 95 percent following the ban. The same decline also happened for hashtags #HoldTheLine and #MarchForTrump.
Interestingly mentions regarding QAnon declined, but those for its unknown “leader”, Q, increased by 15 percent during this period.
Whether this means that pro-Trump supporters were now looking for an online presence to rally behind is unclear, but with the movement’s key leader unable to broadcast on Twitter, it looks like misinformation surrounding many of his talking points became far less amplified.
What this means for misinformation in general remains unclear, especially as we only have a week’s worth of data to look at here.
The same goes for what will happen once Trump is out of office tomorrow, with the vacuum he leaves behind needing to be filled. What will fill it exactly is anyone guess at this stage.