Social Media Site Gab Is Surging, Even As Critics Blame It For Capitol Violence

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The amount of election-related disinformation online has dropped dramatically at after several media platforms band president trump. Almost two weeks ago. Facebook twitter pinterest instagram spotify twitch suspended trump and several of his allies on january eighth two days after the deadly insurrection at the capitol and since then misinformation on those savings as plummeted by more than seventy percent. This according to the research firm signal labs dr thompson staff writer at the atlantic joins us from washington as he does every monday and derek. This should not be surprising. Studied by cornell in october showed that globally around the world. President trump was the largest driver of false information about the coronavirus. Still your thoughts on this ban. Reducing disinformation by seventy percent. I think it's pretty straightforward Donald trump is the former in chief. He has been missing former chief for all four years of his presidency. He has tens of millions of followers. So anyone else who was similarly dishonest or similarly disinterested in truth Gonna reach nearly as many people because they don't have tens of millions of followers on twitter and so of course banning him from the site is absolutely reduced this information. It's it's made it harder for him to put stuff into the public waterways of of information and it's been hard to re tweet him or to jump on conspiracy theories and then embellish them as as we have seen so often on twitter on facebook across social media so it's not surprising at all and this is i think exactly what a lot of social media critics have then predicting for years. They've said if you directly. Take on the leading mongers of disinformation. You're gonna be able to erase it from the site. Yeah okay but quite couple questions. Zig no found that twitter mentions election fraud. Went from two point. Five million to just over six hundred and eighty thousand it reports that hashtags related to the insurrection at the capitol dropped a core across platforms by about ninety five percent. Twitter by the way also banned seventy thousand accounts affiliated with ridiculous and baseless cunanan on conspiracy theory so first question given how immediate the impact was. It doesn't show that these platforms could have done this sooner. I think this is tough. So social media has in the last decade banning. What i acquainted with the wild west in terms of its regulation they haven't exactly applied laws evenly. They don't necessarily even have laws. The kind of regulation that you need to apply across social media platforms facebook twitter etc doesn't exist at the federal level yet and as a result there was a little bit of a lese sayre anything goes sort of feel like and if you've ever seen a television show removing about the wild west in the middle of late nineteenth century that's essentially what you had Online now we're starting to see the law creep into the proverbial wyoming's of twitter and facebook. They're starting to really take action against people that very clearly violated terms of service. And in this case you know incite violence basement conspiracy theory. So i'm not surprised at this happened I think that the incident of one six the insurrection. The capital siege Essentially served as a litmus test And you saw a lot of social media companies essentially act around that. But i think we need rules going forward because hopefully fingers crossed. You're not gonna have moments like the capital siege or that insurrection every single week but you still need some law going forward determine who stays on the site and who violates the terms of service so much. They have to be platform. Well wait a minute. Isn't this though. Whack-a-mole i mean doesn't this mean that president trump and his allies and white supremacists who follow him and average voters will just gravitate to or create other forms. Really interesting question. So on the one hand i totally agree with you If they're kicked off of facebook kicked off of twitter they're just gonna go to some place like gabar parlor but with parlor for example we saw that parlor itself was somewhat d. platform. Or at least unserved. You had companies that were providing both its servers technology and discover ability. Essentially say you have proven yourself beyond the pale and we don't want to work with you anymore. So we'll see where these people go because they're going to go somewhere right now. I think they're probably going to this other social media site called gab But it raises the prospect that today you know you look at a place like facebook and twitter and it is inclusive of a huge wide variety of ideologies. Far left to far right. But what happens when social media sites essentially. Start to buy kate by ideology. Where say you know. The centre-left is on twitter and conservatives are on You know gab And then the leftist go onto some other platform. It means that are already fractured already. Somewhat shattered sent to the shared reality in america is going to become even more fractured an even more fragmented

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