Twitter blocked and labeled some Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud in the run-up and aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
The tweets spread on and off Twitter anyway.
That’s according to a new study from New York University researchers published Tuesday in Harvard Kennedy’s School Misinformation Review and shared exclusively with USA TODAY.
The study is raising new questions about the ability of social media companies to halt the flood of falsehoods on mainstream social media platforms during election cycles.
NYU researchers say Trump tweets with fact-check labels spread further on Twitter than those without. And when Twitter blocked engagement with the former president’s tweets, they leaped to Facebook, Instagram and Reddit where they were more popular than tweets that Twitter labeled or did not flag at all.
It’s not clear if Twitter intervened on social media posts that were more likely to spread or if it was the intervention itself that gave the tweets a boost, the researchers said.