Trust Index: Misinformation spreads on social media targeting swing states too close to call

HOUSTON – The misinformation that has emerged online since Election day has led to a very volatile situation and it’s meant to undermine the process, according to Tom Trewinnard, the co-founder of Fathm.

Using the KPRC 2 Trust Index, we will review questionable claims being made on social media.

Trewinnard, a member of the international team that helped set up our Trust Index System, has monitored elections from all over the world. He said that the misinformation right now is so hard to get a handle on because even when it’s debunked, it doesn’t stop the rumors from spreading.

“It doesn’t really change the minds of the people who’ve already believed it. It’s kind of like a jigsaw puzzle that’s building and at some point, you start to buy into it. It’s a really disorienting experience to be watching this stuff play out,” Trewinnard said.

‘Sharpiegate’ in Arizona

Claims that sharpie markers used by Arizona voters are invalidating ballots led to peaceful demonstrations in Phoenix outside of the elections office.

The crowds there chanting that every vote must be counted.

Our Trust Index team flagged what’s been called the “Sharpiegate” claim as false.

“The pen that you use to vote doesn’t change the way your vote is counted so that’s really clear,” Trewinnard said.

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Ballot rumors on social media

Complaints of ballots being dumped, lost, or found have also been trending on social media.

President Trump’s tweets about the elections from the past 24 hours are some of the most popular content on social networks right now, according to CrowdTangle, a tool from Facebook that follows, analyzes and reports what’s happening across social media.

Many of Trump’s tweets have been flagged and disputed for possibly being misleading, Trewinnard said.

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