The president, not social media, is largely responsible for disinformation about mail-in voting

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President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport on October 13, 2020, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. | Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

A new Harvard study shows that President Trump is the main vector of misinformation about mail-in voting.

The fake news is coming from inside the White House, and it could influence who lives there next.

Earlier this month, Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society released a working paper studying mail-in voting disinformation campaigns. Using a quantitative and qualitative study of millions of tweets and tens of thousands of Facebook posts and news stories about mail-in voter fraud — the persistent but debunked idea that people are illegally using mail-in ballots to meaningfully sway elections — the study found that President Trump was largely responsible for spreading that disinformation.

In particular, the study found that the president himself, on Twitter as well as through press conferences and interviews, was the main source of falsehoods about mail-in voter fraud. In turn, right-wing media organizations and media organizations in general abetted the spread of that…



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