Despite record turnout in the 2020 election, the American people’s confidence in our institutions and political system is at a dangerously low level. Against this backdrop, new research from Issue One reveals the extent to which then-President Donald Trump used his Twitter account to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election and sow doubts about our democratic processes.
In a new analysis designed to chronicle the spread of dangerous lies and conspiracy theories that eroded voters’ confidence in free and fair elections in 2020, Issue One found that 60% of Trump’s 1,500-plus tweets between the day after Election Day and January 8, when Twitter permanently suspended his account, were messages that sought to challenge the results of the 2020 election — an average of about 14 tweets per day.
“For months before the election and then weeks afterward, then-President Donald Trump systematically utilized his Twitter account to broadcast hundreds of falsehoods about the election with the goal of manufacturing a crisis of confidence and overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman.
Penniman continued: “Social media companies must do more to combat disinformation online, particularly when it comes to America’s elections. Moreover, a healthy democracy requires a commitment to norms that bolster the electorate’s faith in elections, including a willingness to accept electoral defeats and an inclination to participate in peaceful transfers of power.”