It’s not uncommon for a defeated party to find a narrative to explain a loss, but what is unusual is for a candidate to claim they didn’t lose at all. Following the 2020 presidential election, CSMaP researchers fielded a study, which found that over 70 percent of Republicans agreed with former President Trump’s claim that he won more votes than President Biden. The researchers explain the study and the different predictors of belief.
Social media itself is neither inherently democratic, nor nondemocratic. Instead, it lives in another space where political actors content for power. This explains how social media can bolster and weaken our democracy. CSMaP researchers discuss how social media in the hands of people opposed to liberal tenets can lead to events like the Capital Riot of January 6.
In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Senate about misinformation during the election. Dorsey was questioned about Twitter’s decision to label Trump’s tweets as “false or misleading”, which some accused as a bias against conservatives and others argued allowed the misinformation to spread. At CSMaP, we investigated these efforts to stop misinformation and found that even labeled tweets continued to spread and tweets from Trump actually spread more.
The use of offensive speech on the internet leading to the rise of political events on the ground is a dynamic that is familiar to researchers of online speech. But what about Trump’s online speech? At CSMaP, we examined three tweets from Trump and tracked whether they had an impact on the quality of other online speech and whether the effect was negative. Our findings highlight the challenges that platforms face leading up to, and in the aftermath of the election.