Politics Most U.S. Voters See Misinformation Online and Many Believe It
Florida's Latino voters being bombarded with right-wing misinformation, advocates say
Misinformation swirling around the 2020 presidential race is reaching an "alarming" number of Latino voters in Florida through social media sites, advocacy groups said. The experts voiced concern that the barrage of misleading messages about presidential candidate Joe Biden and the coronavirus, often containing right-wing conspiracy theories, could swing the state vote.
(Bloomberg) -- With the U.S. presidential election just over a week away, Americans are still encountering disinformation and misinformation online, especially on Facebook Inc., and many believe what they read, according to a survey released on Monday.
The SurveyUSA poll of more than 3,000 registered voters found that 65% reported seeing political disinformation in their Facebook feeds. A quarter of them reported believing the claims. Conducted between Oct. 14-19, the survey revealed that 85% of registered voters read that mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud, with 35% believing it.
7 days from Election Day -- Here's what we know about who's voted so far in key states
One week from Election Day, early voters so far are younger, more racially diverse and more likely to be Democrats than they were ahead of the 2016 election in many of the key states that could decide the next president. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images DORAL, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 14: I voted stickers are seen as people drop off their Vote-by Mail ballots at the Miami-Dade Election Department headquarters on October 14, 2020 in Doral, Florida. More than 1.9 million Floridians had voted by mail according to statistics posted online by the Florida Division of Elections.
Facebook and Twitter Inc. have been working to stem misinformation on their sites in the run-up to the election. Both social media companies have become more assertive in flagging posts that violate their policies. Facebook recently started pulling comments that call for people to aggressively police polls on election day and has blocked ads discouraging vaccine use. One of its most controversial moves was to limit the reach of a New York Post article about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, which infuriated conservatives.
“There is a democratic emergency happening in America right now, and Facebook is at the center of it,” said Fadi Quran, campaign director of Avaaz, an online activism group that commissioned the survey. “Facebook can urgently downgrade the super spreader pages reaching millions with misinformation and they can show corrections to everyone exposed to these lies.”
According to the survey, almost three quarters of those polled were exposed to the claim that Biden is planning to defund the police, with 32% accepting this as fact. More than 60% read online that President Donald Trump will end Social Security benefits if re-elected and 27% believed this, according to the survey.
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