A study from the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights released on Monday blames Meta, TikTok, Twitter and Youtube for allegedly continuing to spread false claims surrounding election fraud in the 2020 US election.
The report faults the companies for the erosion of confidence in the democratic process by allegedly allowing election denialism to proliferate, and providing a platform for the controversial claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and that this fall’s midterms could also be fraudulent.
This report simply reiterates what we already knew - social media powers haven’t done enough to stop the dangerous spread of election denialism. While the blame lies squarely with Republicans like Trump for initiating these lies, social media companies have a moral responsibility to prevent their proliferation, including by providing better fact-checking tools and the removal of content that’s obviously false.
The real damage is being done by social media companies restricting free speech, not by them doing too little. But after colluding with Democrats in 2020 to suppress information they deemed fake or potentially harmful to then-candidate Biden’s campaign - such as the Hunter Biden laptop story - it looks like the powerhouses of social media are going to put their thumbs on the scales again to harm Republicans.