Misinformation hits US elections

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  • Multimedia: Denier check on democracy in the United States

Misinformation hits elections in the United States

The shadow of misinformation hovers over United States again. More than 100 million Americans are called this Tuesday to participate in a key legislative elections for the country's future and in which, as in 2020, an availability of hoaxes of all kinds has contributed to fraying the debate and once again threatens to put The democratic system is in check.

In the midterm elections, also known as 'midterms', the 435 seats in the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be renewed. Your result will mark It will be on the legislative agenda for the next few years and, according to the polls, a highly likely Conservative victory could leave the Democratic administration lame. In addition, his victory could lead the country to have the most conspiratorial Congress in its history. And it is that half of the candidates of the Republican Party support the false accusations of electoral fraud propagated by former president Donald Trumpand they still do not accept the presidential victory of Joe Biden in 2020.

In recent months, researchers have detected how, at the hands of ultra candidates and their supporters, more faithful, all kinds of false rumors spread through the networks, 'fake news' ranging from linking progressive politics to a global pedophile and satanic cabal to bogus plots to manipulate the results of this election. All with the mission of influencing results. The researchers point out that this type of disinformation has circulated mainly in English, but that it is doing so more and more in other languages ​​such as Spanish or Mandarin, which are more present in the social reality of USA, thus expanding the consequences of its toxicity.

Failure in social networks

Most of these hoaxes have been manufactured and disseminated in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Youtube, that a priori have taken measures so that these conspiracies become popular. Even so, groups of experts have denounced that this electoral misinformation continues to circulate through these platforms, going from marginality to convincing an ever-increasing number of voters. In recent weeks, multiple reports have pointed out that some spaces are failing to detect and eliminate lies about the elections. On Twitter, key to the political debate on the internet, extremist content would be gaining ground after the purchase of Elon Musk, as certain users are testing the limits of the new directive.

After years preparing his strategy, in 2020 Trump and US ultra-conservatism cast doubt on the country's democratic institutions. With his defeat, these conspiracies crystallized in the accusations of fraud and the subsequent insurrection against the Capitol. Experts fear that the pattern will repeat itself. A new report from the Election Integrity Partnership warned Monday that the biggest rise in false narratives could come the day after the election, when far-right candidates and their supporters take advantage of the slowness in the vote count of the tightest races to spread hoaxes that question the undesired results. The more days the count of the most committed elections is extended, the greater the loss will be. the penetration of hoaxes. Like two years ago, the fear is that the battle that spreads on the networks will once again translate into violence in the streets.