The Most Dominant Toxic Election Narratives Online

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09/24/2022

Ballot mules. Poll watch parties. Groomers. These topics are now among the most dominant divisive and misleading narratives online about November’s midterm elections, according to researchers and data analytics companies. On Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Truth Social and other social media sites, some of these narratives have surged in recent months, often accompanied by angry and threatening rhetoric. Language claiming that gay people and transgender people were “grooming” children for abuse increased 406 percent on Twitter in April, according to a study by the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for Countering Digital Hate. The narrative was spread most widely by 10 far-right figures, including midterm candidates such as Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, according to the report. Their tweets on “grooming” misinformation were viewed an estimated 48 million times, the report said.

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