Misinformation about the second impeachment trial against former President Donald J. Trump is swirling online much more slowly than the first impeachment trial against him – at least so far.
Media Insights company Zignal Labs gathered misinformation about the impeachment process between January 25 and February 9 and uncovered three emerging untruths that had received thousands of mentions on social media and cable television, as well as print and online news outlets.
However, the falsehoods hadn’t caught as much resonance as misinformation about Mr Trump’s first impeachment trial or the outcome of the 2020 election. Still, the data shows how virtually every news event is an opportunity to spread lies and spread divisive rumors, aided by social -Media algorithms, eager audience, and a broken fact-checking system.
Here is the three most popular misinformation about impeachment.
Nancy Pelosi is responsible for the attack on the Capitol: 30,300 mentions
The lie that Congressman Nancy Pelosi somehow knew a mob was about to storm the Capitol and used the impeachment process as a “diversionary” was reinforced by Senator Ron Johnson on Fox News on February 7th.
“We now know that 45 Republican senators believe it is unconstitutional,” Johnson told Fox News, referring to the impeachment process. “Is that another diversion operation? Should this differ from what the speaker knew and when she knew? I don’t know, but I am suspicious. “
A video clip of the interview was viewed at least 2.1 million times on Twitter.
The attack on the Capitol was pre-planned and undercut the basis of impeachment: 8,135 mentions
The lie that the Capitol attack was pre-planned and “undercut the premise of Trump’s impeachment” prevailed on Feb. 8 when a conservative outlet called Just the News published an article detailing the claim. The article was shared 7,400 times on Twitter and at least 3,000 times on Facebook.
Just the News founder John Solomon – a Washington-based media personality who has been instrumental in spreading falsehoods about the Bidens and Ukraine – shared the falsehood through his own Twitter account and garnered thousands of likes and retweets. Other Twitter users then picked up the rumor and further reinforced the false narrative.
144 constitutional lawyers who filed a written analysis of the case against Mr Trump, focusing on what was planned in advance shouldn’t affect the impeachment process itself. They said that many of them believe that “President Trump can be convicted and disqualified for being accused of violating his oath through an ‘extraordinary, unprecedented rejection of the president’s duties to protect the government’ through his’ further acts and omissions to have after seeing the crowd to attack the Capitol. ‘”
Renewed calls to indict Obama for “spying on Trump”: 5,017 mentions
The tale that it is not too late to indict former President Barack Obama caught on on Twitter on January 26th. Thousands of Twitter users shared an old suggestion made by Rep Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, that Mr Obama should be tried for espionage against Trump if a former president can be charged.
The false narrative was a revival of “Spygate” – a labyrinthine conspiracy theory that includes unsubstantiated allegations of a secret democratic conspiracy to spy on Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign. But the theory became puzzled when none of Mr. Trump’s political enemies have been charged with crimes for the past four years. And in 2019, a highly anticipated report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General found no evidence of a politicized conspiracy to spy on the Trump campaign.