BBC‘s Disinformation and Social Media Correspondent Marianna Spring led an investigation across major social media platforms under 5 personas meant to represent a voter on the US political spectrum. She did this by setting up 5 phones with social media profiles on all major platforms under each phone. Each phone was assigned one political profile.
In recent months, ISD found that election conspiracies, hate and abusive language aims at politicians online have only intensified in the lead up to the US election. Narratives identified mainly focused on conspiracies surrounding the Biden administration and state-specific voting issues. This was particularly worrisome when it came to video format content. Our research is featured in Marianna’s investigation.
“That, when combined with social media product features and failed policies, is giving permission to more hate and vitriol,” said ISD’s Head of Elections and Digital Integrity, Jiore Craig.
Of the five profiles created, ‘Britney’ was the one most frequently exposed to violent or misleading content. Britney’s profiles were set to follow pages opposing billionaires and abortion, while also liking “lots of content that was very supportive of former President Donald Trump,” Marianna reports.