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Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society has published a working paper earlier this month studying disinformation around the subject of mail-in voting and it found US President Donald Trump as the principal source of fake news, Recode reported.

Analyzing millions of social media posts, the study found that President Trump was one of the main sources of debunked claims that mail-in ballots are being used in election fraud, Sky Palma wrote for Raw Story. “In particular, the study found that the president himself, on Twitter as well as through press conferences and interviews, was the main source of falsehoods about mail-in voter fraud,” Rani Molla of Recode wrote. “In turn, right-wing media organizations and media organizations in general abetted the spread of that misinformation by uncritically parroting it without full context.”

The study’s main author, Yochai Benkler, said “this looks like a political- and media elite-driven disinformation campaign by the Republican Party, led by Donald Trump, directly from the media elites to mass media — and then social media sort of chimes in and secondarily amplifies it and circulates it around. But the primary driver is Trump, his campaign, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and other sorts of Republican leadership. And the primary vector is straight through mass media: Fox media and talk radio on the right, and the rest of the media ecosystem.”

This is hardly the only misinformation campaign being led by Trump this year, Raw Story added. A recent Cornell study found the president to be the largest driver of coronavirus misinformation as well. In conjunction with lies about mail-in voting, these two campaigns not only jeopardize the health of millions of Americans but also stand to sway the election results.

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