Misinformation about the second impeachment trial against former President Donald J. Trump is rampant online with a clip much slower than the first impeachment trial against him – at least until now on.
Media insights firm Zignal Labs collected misinformation stories surrounding the impeachment proceedings between January 25 and February 9, and uncovered three emerging falsehoods that had been admitted. gets thousands of mentions on social media and cable TV, as well as print and online newspapers.
However, the discrepancy has not garnered as much traction as misinformation about Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial or the results of the 2020 election. Any news event is an opportunity to spread lies and push divisive rumors, backed up by social media algorithms, eager audiences, and broken reality verification systems.
Here are the three most common misinformation stories about impeachment proceedings.
Nancy Pelosi is responsible for the Capitol attack: 30,300 mentions
The lie that Rep. Nancy Pelosi somehow knew that a mob would burst into the Capitol and were using the impeachment trial as a “distraction” attempt was amplified by Sen. Ron Johnson on Fox News on February 7.
“We now know that 45 Republican senators believe it is unconstitutional,” Johnson told Fox News, referring to the impeachment process. “Is this another distraction? Does this mean deviation from what the speaker already knows and when does she know it? I don’t know, but I doubt ”.
A video clip of the interview has been viewed at least 2.1 million times on Twitter.
Pre-planned attack on the Capitol, mutilating the basis of the impeachment trial: 8,135 mentions
The deviation that the pre-planned Capitol attack and the “cut the Trump impeachment premise” gained traction on Feb. 8 when a conservative store named Just the News published a The article details the statement. 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 figure who has been instrumental in promoting the bias about Bidens and Ukraine – shared the lies from his own Twitter account, collected thousands of likes and retweets. Other Twitter users then gathered the rumor, further amplifying the false story.
Focusing on what was planned in advance will not affect the impeachment trial itself, according to 144 constitutional law scholars who submitted a written analysis of the case against Mr. Trump. They said many of them believe “President Trump could be convicted and disqualified because he was accused of violating his oath through denying the president’s duty to protect the government. ‘unusual, unprecedented’ through the acts and shortcomings followed after he incited the mob to attack the Capitol. ”
New calls to impeach Obama for ‘following Trump’: 5,017 mentions
The story that it is not too late to impeach former President Barack Obama began to catch attention on January 26 on Twitter. Thousands of Twitter users shared an old suggestion from Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican in Florida, that if a former president could be impeached, Mr. Obama should be tried for spying on Trump. .
The false story is the resurgence of “Spygate” – a maze-like conspiracy theory involving unproven allegations of a secret Democratic conspiracy to follow up on his 2016 campaign. Trump. But this hypothesis failed when no political enemies of Mr. Trump have been charged in the past four years. And in 2019, a highly anticipated report by the Justice Department inspector general found no evidence of a politicized conspiracy to spy on the Trump campaign.