Friday, 30 September, 2022
HomeScienceStudy suggests voter fraud conspiracy theories can backfire on those propagating them

Study suggests voter fraud conspiracy theories can backfire on those propagating them

Text Size:

Washington [US], August 17 (ANI): A recent study has uncovered small but discernible links between social media engagement with misinformation about the 2020 US presidential election and voter behaviour in the 2021 Georgia Senate runoff election.

The findings of the study have been published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS).

Following the 2020 US presidential election and President Joseph R. Biden’s close victory in Georgia, misinformation and claims of election fraud were promoted.

In order to test whether such claims affected subsequent trust in elections and voting behaviour, Jon Green and colleagues examined the social media activity and voting behaviour of 45,431 Twitter users who matched Georgia voter registration records.

The authors evaluated whether the Twitter users’ ‘likes’ and retweets suggested that they endorsed or detracted from election fraud theories. Next, they noted whether or not the users voted in the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 Georgia Senate runoff election.

Links between social media activity and voting behaviour were small but detectable. Publicly opposing election fraud conspiracy theories was associated with slightly higher voter turnout in 2021 than in 2020, whereas promoting such theories was associated with slightly lower turnout in 2021 than in 2020.

Engagement with election conspiracy theories carried small, but detectable, associations with the turnout: positive among those opposing such claims and negative among promoters.

These observational findings among social media users document the 2020 election-theft claims’ correspondence with real-world, offline behaviour. Those promoting conspiracy theories questioning the legitimacy of the US electoral process were, at the same time, somewhat less likely than defenders to participate in it.

According to the authors, the results suggest that conspiracy theories aimed at undermining faith in elections may influence voter behavior. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular

×