US election 2020: ‘Rigged’ votes, physique doubles and different false claims

US election 2020: ‘Rigged’ votes, physique doubles and different false claims

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Within the ultimate weeks of the US election marketing campaign all method of false and deceptive issues are being shared on social media.

Listed here are a few of the most up-to-date – and false – claims.

Postal votes

The Trump marketing campaign has usually claimed, with out proof, that elevated postal voting (“mail-in” is the American time period) as a result of pandemic will result in large fraud.

In truth, electoral fraud is extremely uncommon.

Final week, President Trump steered 50,000 folks in Ohio getting inaccurate absentee ballots was proof of a “rigged election”.

He repeated the instance at a town-hall occasion on Thursday, when the moderator put it to him that the director of the FBI says there isn’t a proof of widespread fraud.

The elections board in Franklin County, Ohio, stated the poll error was a “critical mistake” however in its response to the president’s tweet, it added: “Our board is bipartisan and our elections are honest. And each vote will likely be counted.”

The error got here by way of a expertise malfunction – a high-speed scanner stopped working – that meant a bit of greater than 250,000 absentee ballots, for these not voting in individual of their state, despatched out have been inaccurate.

Everybody affected now has the right voter slip, the elections boards stated, and there are numerous safeguards in place to verify nobody votes twice.

“Dumped” ballots

In September, photos of poll envelopes in California have been shared 1000’s of instances on Fb together with additional unsubstantiated claims of “vote rigging”.

The official County of Sonoma Fb web page printed a press release addressing the claims. “The photographs are of outdated empty envelopes from the November 2018 election that have been disposed of as allowed by regulation,” they stated.

The county’s ballots for this 12 months’s presidential election had not but been despatched out to voters when the images have been shared.

Quite a few nationwide and state-level research present that voter fraud is extremely uncommon within the US.

There have been remoted circumstances of postal-ballot fraud and the FBI is presently investigating a case of 9 army ballots that have been discarded in Pennsylvania.

However Ellen Weintraub, commissioner of the Federal Election Fee, which oversees marketing campaign spending legal guidelines, has stated: “There’s merely no foundation for the conspiracy principle that voting by mail causes fraud.”

  • Do postal ballots result in voting fraud?
  • Learn how to spot election disinformation

Marketing campaign advertisements and assault movies

Deceptive movies and adverts vilifying opponents, spinning details and exaggerating the reality are in fact frequent throughout election campaigns – and this one has been no completely different.

Donald Trump Jr posted a video that includes an interview with Joe Biden replying affirmatively – utilizing the phrase “bingo” – when requested about gun management.

However the precise query was not a few wholesale ban on weapons, however slightly on one particular sort – assault weapons. Mr Biden does certainly help a ban on the manufacture and sale of these high-powered weapons, and proposes that homeowners will both have the ability to promote them again to the federal government or register them.

The clip and Mr Trump Jr’s tweet dropped any such nuance, nevertheless.

A Democratic Celebration-supporting Twitter account printed its personal video on the problem. Referring to the president’s supporters, it claimed: “Hey MAGA, Trump is coming to your weapons”. Connected was a clip from a press convention through which the president says: “Take the firearms first after which go to courtroom”.

However right here the president was referring to a coverage of eradicating weapons from the fingers of doubtless harmful folks.

Misleadingly edited movies have been a recurring function of the marketing campaign.

This week, a Trump marketing campaign advert was edited to make it seem like Dr Anthony Fauci, one of many leaders of the White Home coronavirus activity drive, was praising the president. In actuality, Dr Fauci was speaking about his personal response to the pandemic.

  • Trump focused in deceptive puddle video

We have additionally seen marketing campaign adverts on Fb push inaccurate claims.

A frequent falsehood contains allegations that the president referred to as coronavirus a “hoax”. An advert seen just a few hundred thousand instances on Fb this week and promoted by “Colour Of Change PAC” – a “political motion committee” separate from the political events – contains the false declare.

Whereas he has at instances made wildly unscientific statements, President Trump didn’t straight name coronavirus a hoax. The hearsay appears to stem from a speech he gave earlier within the 12 months, through which he referred to as the Democratic Celebration’s response to his dealing with of the pandemic “their new hoax”.

Following the primary presidential debate, the Trump marketing campaign posted advertisements selling a false declare that Joe Biden wore an earpiece.

Additional advertisements falsely claimed Mr Biden had been utilizing a teleprompter in TV interviews.

Conspiracy theories

Tweets producing 1000’s of shares in latest days promoted a weird conspiracy principle, claiming to disclose secret details about the seize and dying of Osama Bin Laden – an concept that was amplified by the president himself.

An article reporting these unfounded claims finally entered the mainstream dialog after President Trump retweeted it.

The “whistleblower” within the story claims to have info to show {that a} “physique double” of Osama Bin Laden was killed by American troops in Pakistan, slightly than the true Al Qaeda chief.

The article went even additional, with the interviewee accusing Joe Biden of orchestrating a cover-up and the taking pictures down of a US helicopter in Afghanistan in 2011. They offered no proof to help the claims.

The accusations prompted fury from a member of the elite Navy Seal unit who took half within the mission. He completely rejected the speculation, telling CNN it was “trampling on the graves of a few of the finest heroes I’ve ever personally labored with”.

The writer of the article retweeted by the president admitted on Twitter: “I’ve no proof that the Whistleblower’s claims are true.”

At Thursday’s town-hall occasion the president was requested about his resolution to retweet the doubtful article, and responded: “I am going to put it on the market – folks can determine for themselves.”

Mr Trump has promoted conspiracy theories prior to now and in addition turned the topic of some when he caught coronavirus.

One notably far-fetched principle shared on Fb and Reddit this week claimed that Mr Trump has been changed by a clone.

A collage of photographs entitled “The true Donald Trump by no means left hospital” contrasted photographs of Donald Trump earlier than and after his keep in hospital, labelling him a “new-born clone”.

Although some folks clearly shared the put up as a joke, different feedback steered the thought was taken critically by some.

The president has been seen in public a number of instances since his launch from hospital, and there’s no proof to help the wild principle.

This is not the primary time a sitting president has been accused of being changed by a clone throughout an election marketing campaign.

In 2018 a viral hearsay that Nigeria’s President Buhari had been changed by a physique double turned so widespread that the president himself responded, saying: “It is the true me, I guarantee you”.

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