Two Trumps and a set of right-wing commentators have been the top so-called superspreaders of election misinformation, according to research by Avaaz, a global human rights group.
In descending order, the five included the right-wing commentators Dan Bongino, Mark Levin, Diamond and Silk, and David J. Harris Jr., as well as one of the president’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. President Trump topped the list, according to the research.
They were part of a larger set of 25 superspreaders who, together, accounted for 28.6 percent of the interactions that people had with voter fraud misinformation, according to the Avaaz analysis.
Since Election Day, there have been over 77.1 million likes, comments and shares on Facebook from the top 25 superspreaders of voter fraud misinformation. The top five alone are responsible for 49.2 million of those interactions, or 63 percent of the total interactions on these pages that have repeatedly pushed voter fraud misinformation claims.
“The superspreaders in this list, with the helping hand of Facebook’s algorithm, were just central to creating this flood of falsehoods that is now defining the political debate for millions across the country, and could continue to do so for years to come,” said Fadi Quran, a director at Avaaz.
A spokesman for Facebook said the company was taking “every opportunity” to label posts that misrepresented the voting process and to direct people to a voting information center.
Voter fraud claims include false reports that malfunctioning voting machines intentionally miscounted mail-in votes and other irregularities somehow affected the vote. All of those claims were investigated by election officials and journalists who found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
President Trump and his supporters have used those claims to try to cast doubt on the results of the vote, and to file lawsuits in key swing states where they are disputing the results of the Nov 3. election. The lawsuits have been largely dismissed.
Despite the lack of evidence presented in court, or online, the voter fraud claims have gathered steam. On Monday morning, President Trump shared the false claim on his Facebook page that in certain states, there were more votes than people who voted. The post was shared over 15,000 times and liked over 300,000 times within several hours.