Rise of right-wing apps worsens midstream misinformation
The new apps and sites present a new information landscape for voters as November’s midterm elections approach and Democrats seek to defend their narrow majorities in Congress. After being regularly bombarded with discredited allegations of fraudulent and destroyed ballots, malfunctioning voting machines and other unproven conspiracy theories, nearly 80% of Republicans continue to believe that President Joe Biden is not did not win legitimately in 2020.
The situation is about to get worse as new apps promising to be anti-Big Tech, anti-censorship and pro-free speech appeal to the “diehards”, said Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a non-profit group that monitors conservative media.
By promising unfettered platform users to say and promote whatever they want, these right-wing apps and sites will likely become places to start, nurture and promote misinformation about the midterm elections that could even lead to violence, Carusone said.
“And so what’s unique about this cycle is that you now have places that are ready to not only act as petri dishes for misinformation, but also have the distribution capacity to prime the pump a bit. to start some of these smears” it could move on to mainstream media, Carusone said.
The mechanism by which social media posts and comments generate information and vice versa is already well established, said Emily Dreyfuss, senior editor of the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center.