Facebook failed to police 650 thousand attacks on the elections
A report released today by the investigative news agency ProPublica and The Washington Post reveals that thousands of groups on Facebook posted at least 650,000 entries with messages attacking the legitimacy of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory, many of them calling for executions summaries of politicians or encouraging violence.
According to The Washington Post, the study shows that supporters of former President Donald Trump pasted an average of at least 10,000 messages a day on Facebook, turning radical groups into “incubators for baseless claims” of voter fraud.
“Many posts portrayed Biden’s election as the result of widespread fraud that required extraordinary action — including the use of force — to prevent the nation from falling into the hands of traitors,” the journal wrote, referring to the relationship between the content of messages on social networks and the invasion of the Capitol, on January 6th.
“LOOKS LIKE CIVIL WAR is BECOMING INEVITABLE !!!” read one of the messages posted on Facebook a month before the attack on the Capitol, as Donald Trump’s supporters were studying ways to stop the validation of the electoral college’s votes, which they gave the victory to Democrat Joe Biden.
Another message says “Bill Barr, we’re going after you”, expressing the intention to go after the attorney general, accused of colluding with the political interests of the Democratic Party.
The company that runs Facebook downplayed the role of social media in the Capitol invasion, resisting calls — some from inside the Supervisory Board — for an investigation into the case, but ended up suspending Donald Trump’s account within hours after Twitter made that decision, right after the January 6, 2021 attack.
The investigation by ProPublica and The Washington Post reveals a message from Drew Pusareti, a spokesman for the company that manages Facebook, in which it can be read that the platform was not responsible for the January 6 violence, accusing Trump and several Republican leaders for having spread information that triggered the attack on Capitol Hill.
In the months before the US presidential elections, in October 2020, Facebook had eliminated several groups from its social network, accused of spreading false information about the electoral act, but the ‘task force’ in charge of that task was soon dismantled. Next.
The report made public today shows how many of these groups have reorganized on Facebook, being responsible for more than 650,000 entries with messages calling for violence, denouncing, without presenting facts, the falsehood of the election results.
ProPublica and The Washington Post analyzed the posts of more than 100,000 Facebook groups, along with data compiled by a company dedicated to the analysis of misinformation, CounterAction, having accessed about 18 million ‘posts’ on that social network.