Hashtags Spread Trump’s Theory of Election Fraud
Hashtags on social media are calling on supporters of US President Donald Trump to protest against the results of the presidential election. #StopTheSteal went viral in recent days.
The hashtag is used to spread Trump’s theory that Democrats “steal” the election.
The Facebook group ‘Stop the platform on Thursday removed the Steal’. Users in the group urged others to participate in demonstrations in key states of Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, among others.
In those states, a neck-and-neck race between the president and his rival Joe Biden is currently being fought. Some members of ‘Stop the Steal’ called for violence, including using the hashtag #civilwar (civil war).
The hashtag #Sharpiegate also sparked protests in the state of Arizona on Wednesday evening (local time) in front of an election centre, where protesters demanded a recount of the votes.
According to the unproven theory, ballots filled in with a particular pen could not be read by machines scanning the notes in Maricopa county, Politico writes.
According to Emily Dreyfuss of Harvard University, theories like this will keep circulating. Also, new groups and hashtags with a similar message are appearing. They spread a complex story in a highly simplified form that sticks to people, according to Dreyfuss.
Removing the Facebook page is, therefore, not the end of the information campaign. According to Alex Stamos of Stanford University, the theory of fraud in the presidential election will continue to circulate until after the election ends.