Special Report: Disinformazione sulle presidenziali in USA

Monitoraggio della diffusione via Facebook della disinformazione sulle elezioni

a cura di Gabby Deutch, tradotto da Virginia Padovese

Da quanto emerso nell’ultimo studio di NewsGuard, a meno di una settimana dalle elezioni presidenziali negli Stati Uniti, la disinformazione sul voto e sulle modalità e sulla sicurezza del voto stesso si sta diffondendo rapidamente su Facebook, nonostante la piattaforma si sia impegnata a contrastare la pubblicazione di contenuti falsi.

NewsGuard ha identificato 40 pagine Facebook considerate ‘super-diffusori’ di disinformazione relativa alle elezioni. Si tratta di pagine che hanno condiviso contenuti falsi sul voto o sulle modalità del voto con il loro pubblico di oltre 100.000 follower ciascuna. Solo tre dei 53 post con informazioni non attendibili identificati da NewsGuard su queste pagine – che insieme raggiungono un pubblico di circa 22,9 milioni di follower – sono stati segnalati da Facebook come falsi. Quattro delle 40 pagine sono gestite al di fuori degli Stati Uniti, in paesi come Messico, Vietnam e Israele, nonostante pubblichino soprattutto contenuti legati alla politica statunitense.

Le principali bufale identificate da NewsGuard includono affermazioni false su schede elettorali per posta che vengono cestinate, su schede elettorali di persone morte conteggiate come voti, e sul controllo del processo elettorale. Tali informazioni false riguardano entrambi gli schieramenti, con profili sia di destra che di sinistra che diffondono disinformazione a sostegno della propria posizione.

L’analisi di NewsGuard ha anche rilevato come le bufale sulle elezioni spesso sfruttano errori di routine, facendoli diventare esempi di negligenza o di inganno per diffondere sfiducia nel processo elettorale. Altre bufale sembrano invece fondate su malintesi, a volte involontari e a volte intenzionali, delle pratiche di voto.

I post di Facebook che sono stati segnalati come falsi dai fact-checker, sono comparsi con la segnalazione di ‘informazione falsa’ solo dopo che la bufala era stata pubblicata e ampiamente condivisa, poiché le pratiche della piattaforma non forniscono avvisi anticipati agli utenti sulle pagine che sono già note per aver pubblicato disinformazione in passato.

Nonostante gli sforzi annunciati da Facebook per fermare la diffusione di questo tipo di disinformazione, queste pagine continuano a poter pubblicare disinformazione sul voto e sul processo elettorale, apparentemente in violazione delle politiche sui contenuti della piattaforma. Ogni giorno emergono nuove notizie false, con informazioni imprecise e ingannevoli.

Qui sotto puoi leggere lo studio integrale di NewsGuard, in inglese, con l’elenco delle pagine Facebook che hanno maggiormente contribuito alla diffusione della disinformazione sulle elezioni presidenziali.

Methodology and Data Set

The Facebook pages we identified as “super-spreaders” of voting and election misinformation meet three simple criteria:

  • They have followings of more than 100,000 page “likes” on Facebook. 
  • They have published or shared clearly false and unsubstantiated content about voting and/or the electoral process. In many cases, the pages have shared such content more than once.
    • The false stories we identified were typically variations of the myths we identified and debunked. Some stories included multiple myths from this list, while other articles did not fit neatly with one of the myths we identified. Nevertheless, all the articles we identified advanced inaccurate information about the voting process. 
  • They were active as of October 27, 2020. In other words, Facebook had not acted to remove them prior to our publication of this data.

Our analysts derived this list in part by tracing which Facebook pages had linked to false stories on political websites that NewsGuard had rated Red, or generally unreliable, for publishing false content or failing to gather and present information responsibly. This data was supplemented with additional research and reporting, aided by social media analytics tool NewsWhip.

This list is, of course, a work in progress. The accounts listed may not be the most frequent offenders or be the publishers of false voting or election information with the largest audiences. And the examples we list for each page do not necessarily represent an exhaustive list of all the times the page published election-related misinformation. Click here to see the dataset in spreadsheet form.

Scroll down for a list of some of the most egregious election misinformation “super-spreaders” that we’ve found so far. The sites are listed in descending order of likes on Facebook. We debunk each false claim the first time it appears on the list.


Glenn Beck

3,186,888 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of Glenn Beck, a conservative commentator and TV host, which posts links to his NewsGuard Red-rated website and to the Red-rated TheBlaze.com, the right-leaning news network he created.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 10, 2020, post with a link to an article on Beck’s website falsely claiming that “members of the Obama Administration and State Department wrote the playbook for Color Revolution in the streets” and that the Democrats’ plan to overthrow the government “culminates on November 3rd.”

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to Glenn Beck’s page seeking comment on the false claim published by the page about the election. The message has not drawn a response.


The Federalist Papers

2,441,552 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of TheFederalistPapers.org, a NewsGuard Red-rated conservative opinion website that has advanced unsubstantiated claims.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 11, 2020, post with link to an article published on TheFederalistPapers.org that falsely claimed “60,000 mail ballots unaccounted for in Trump-heavy county,” when in fact the ballots were simply mailed out three days late, according to election officials in Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County.

TheFederalistPapers.org did not respond to an email from NewsGuard seeking comment on the site’s publication of a false election claim.


Donald Trump Is My President

1,933,303 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page affiliated with the NewsGuard Red-rated conservative news site TrendingPolitics.com, which has published misinformation about politics and COVID-19. 

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 1, 2020, post with link to an article on the site TrendingPolitics.com, reposted from the related Red-rated site ConservativeBrief.com, that falsely claimed that “50,000 ballots [were] TOSSED after official ‘altered’ them,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 
    • The Associated Press reported that Iowa District Court Judge Ian Thornhill ordered Linn County, Iowa, to invalidate 50,000 requests for absentee ballots, not actual ballots. The judge ruled that the ballot request forms had been improperly filled in by the Linn County Auditor prior to being sent to voters. There were no illegal ballots submitted, and no one was charged with a crime. Voters whose requests for a mail-in ballot were rejected could apply again or they could vote in person. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email associated with the Donald Trump Is My President page seeking comment on the page’s publication of a false election claim.


100 Percent FED Up

1,678,879 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of anonymously operated, NewsGuard Red-rated conservative news site 100PercentFedUp.com. 

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 17, 2020, post with link to an article published on 100PercentFedUp.com that falsely claimed “372,000 mail-in ballots rejected” in “critical swing state” Pennsylvania, when in fact 372,000 ballot applications were rejected, a seemingly small but crucial distinction. Voters who were denied a mail-in ballot are still able to vote in person. 

In an email to NewsGuard, Patty McMurray, a co-owner of the site 100PercentFedUp.com and the author of the article, said that the site has since corrected the article to reflect that Pennsylvania rejected ballot applications, not ballots, although the false, uncorrected post remains accessible on Facebook. “Your so-called ‘fact-check’ group behaves more like a mob with a shakedown mentality than a professional organization. I will not be threatened by you or anyone at NewsGuard over the prospect of receiving negative press from you. We are two moms who’ve been publishing accurate conservative news for over 7 years. We have over 2.5  million followers who appreciate our hard work and dedication to the truth. NewsGuard is irrelevant to us,” McMurray wrote.


President Donald Trump Fan Club

1,630,711 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with the conservative website TrendingPolitics.com. 

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 1, 2020, post with link to an article on TrendingPolitics.com that falsely claimed that “50,000 ballots [were] TOSSED after official ‘altered’ them,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to the President Donald Trump Fan Club page seeking comment on the false claim published by the page about the election. The message has not drawn a response.


Pamela Geller

1,283,200 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of Pamela Geller, a conservative writer known for her criticisms of Islam and who has promoted the birther conspiracy theory about former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 8, 2020, post with link to an article on Geller’s website that falsely claimed that “tons of Trump mail-in ballot applications” were found “SHREDDED in back of tractor trailer.” Geller used this inaccurate claim to argue that “Mail-in ballots are a disaster. They represent the biggest threat to President Trump and election integrity.” 
    • The website that originally published the article, TheRightScoop.com, later issued a correction when fact checkers found that the shredded papers were not official election mail, but rather a campaign advertisement sent to voters around the country. Despite this retraction, the original article and post are still live on Geller’s page, with no fact-check warning from Facebook. 
  • Sept. 25, 2020, post with link to an article on Geller’s NewsGuard Red-rated site about 1,000 ballots found in a California dumpster, which Geller falsely called “voter suppression” and referred to as “the Democrat’s election strategy.” 
    • In fact, the ballots were discarded empty envelopes from the 2018 election, according to a tweet from the official Sonoma County, Cal., Twitter account.

In response to an email from NewsGuard inquiring about the page’s publication of election misinformation, Geller said that hers was not the first website to make that claim. “My report, meanwhile, not only has three sources and includes photographic evidence, but coincides with numerous similar reports that have been circulating recently,” she said, referring to a “RightScoop article saying the same thing.” The website TheRightScoop.com has since corrected and retracted its article after learning the shredded papers were not ballots. Regarding Geller’s post about ballots found in a California dumpster, she disputed that her article was inaccurate. “NewsGuard’s attempt to portray this as a false statement is a ridiculous attempt to hide the widespread evidence of voter fraud being committed on a large scale nationwide by Democrat operatives,” Geller said. 


David J Harris Jr.

1,178,355 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of David J. Harris, Jr., a conservative commentator who operates two NewsGuard Red-rated news websites that regularly publish false claims.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 21, 2020, post with link to an article on DJHJMedia.com claiming, without evidence, that “leftists created fake ‘Proud Boys’ website then sent emails to Democrats threatening them.” 
    • Democratic voters in several states reported receiving emails that appeared to be from the Proud Boys, a far-right group known for inciting violence. U.S. national security officials said that the emails were not sent by the Proud Boys, but they did not blame Democrats. Instead, officials said that Iranian actors sent the emails in an attempt to intimidate voters and damage President Trump.
  • Oct. 12, 2020, post with link to an article on DavidHarrisJr.com about a Texas Democrat arrested on charges of mail-in ballot fraud. “This is one of many voter fraud schemes discovered this year,” the article stated, and falsely claimed that “every perp was a Democrat.” 
    • Most voter fraud cases do not provide information about the defendant’s political party, so it is impossible to determine the political affiliation of all people accused of voter fraud. But Republicans and Democrats have both faced voter fraud charges. For example, in 2019, North Carolina Republican operative Leslie McCrae Dowless was indicted for a ballot-harvesting scheme that resulted in a 2018 congressional race being voided in the state and re-run in a 2019 special election. In 2020, four East Texas Democrats were indicted on charges related to an absentee ballot fraud scheme. 

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to the David J Harris Jr. page seeking comment on the false election claims published by the page. The message has not drawn a response.


Law Enforcement Today

836,288 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of LawEnforcementToday.com, a NewsGuard Red-rated website that provides news for the law enforcement community.

Examples of COVID-19 Misinformation:

  • Oct. 15, 2020, post with link to an article on LawEnforcementToday.com that falsely claimed that an error on 13,000 Utah ballots, which were erroneously sent with no signature line on the return envelope, was a “cheat-by-mail scheme.”
    • The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Sanpete County Clerk quickly learned of the mistake, which was a printing error, and immediately put information online explaining to voters how to correctly submit their ballot. There was no evidence that the mistake was part of a voter fraud scheme.
  • Sept. 24, 2020, post with link to an article on LawEnforcementToday.com that falsely claimed that military ballots cast for President Trump in Pennsylvania that were found to be discarded constituted a “cheat-by-mail scheme.”
    • Pennsylvania’s top election official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, later said that the discarded ballots were “a bad error” but “not intentional fraud,” the Times Leader newspaper reported. Even prior to Boockvar’s determination, there was never any indication that the discarded ballots were part of a voter fraud scheme. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email associated with the Law Enforcement Today page seeking comment on the page’s publication of false election claims.


Trumpian Republicans

804,930 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with the website ConservativeBrief.com, a right-leaning news site that has advanced misinformation about U.S. politics. 

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Aug. 31, 2020, post with link to an article on ConservativeBrief.com. The post falsely reported that a “judge TOSSES 50,000 illegal ballots,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to an address associated with the Trumpian Republicans page seeking comment on the page’s publication of a false election claim.


Gateway Pundit

637,309 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of GatewayPundit.com, a NewsGuard Red-rated right-leaning blog that has advanced conspiracy theories and other false claims. 

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 9, 2020, post with link to an article on GatewayPundit.com that falsely claimed that “New Hampshire voters are receiving fake ballots in the mail” and called this evidence of “MORE FRAUD.”
    • The article included a photo which showed that New Hampshire voters did not, in fact, receive fake ballots. The unsolicited forms were absentee ballot applications, not actual ballots. New Hampshire’s attorney general warned citizens to be wary of unsolicited forms that do not disclose who sent them, but at no point did he call the request forms proof of mail-in ballot fraud.
  • Sept. 22, 2020, post with link to an article on GatewayPundit.com that falsely claimed that “ballot drop off stations” are the same thing as “ballot harvesting,” which Gateway Pundit described as “an effort to steal the election.” 
    • According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an independent, bipartisan commission created by Congress in 2002, a ballot drop box is “a secure, locked structure operated by election officials where voters may deliver their ballots from the time they receive them in the mail up to the time polls close on Election Day.” Ballot drop boxes are legal, and do not relate to ballot harvesting, which refers to the practice of political operatives being paid to collect and even change people’s ballots. It is illegal for someone to be paid to collect and alter others’ ballots. 
  • Aug. 15, 2020, post with link to an article on GatewayPundit.com that falsely claimed that “Democrats want mail-in voting” so “all of the dead people can vote again.” As evidence, the post reported that “at least 847 dead people tried to vote in Michigan’s August Primary.”
    • In fact, the people referred to in this article were living when they voted absentee or voted early, then died before Election Day. As a result, Michigan’s secretary of state invalidated their ballots, as per state law.  

After writing to an email account associated with Gateway Pundit’s Facebook page, NewsGuard received a response from John Burns, an attorney. Regarding the article that equated ballot drop boxes with ballot harvesting, Burns expressed concern about ballot drop boxes’ lack of ability to verify voter identification, writing, “I guess my confusion is, how is an unmanned ballot drop off box equipped to check/ verify voter identification – or otherwise prevent ballot harvesting?” He did not respond to questions regarding the other two posts identified by NewsGuard.


The Common Sense Conservative

530,278 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page that describes itself as “bringing common sense and truth back to America one meme and videos at a time” and has published political misinformation from multiple unreliable websites.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 28, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely claimed that Colorado sent “ballots to illegals and the dead.”
    • In fact, Colorado did not send ballots to undocumented immigrants or to dead people. However, the state did send postcards reminding people to register to vote to at least a dozen undocumented immigrants and deceased people — but these were not official election documents, and the postcards laid out the qualifications to vote: 18 years of age, U.S. citizen, and a Colorado resident at least 22 days before the election, according to Denver CBS affiliate CBS4. Colorado secretary of state Jena Griswold, a Democrat, told CBS4 that the state has two different lists for sending unofficial election mail, like the postcard, and official mail, which only goes to registered voters. “I think the key is that the mailing to encourage potentially unregistered people to register is not the same mailing as our ballot mailing. Those are two separate universes,” Griswold said. “This postcard, encouraging people to register, goes to people who are potentially eligible but unregistered and, you know, the mailings aren’t always 100% correct.”

After NewsGuard inquired about the election misinformation shared on the page, Robert R. Zerfing, the page manager, deleted the post, writing, “Thank you for letting us know that the post was about to be flagged so we can stay in line and stay alive.” Zerfing claimed, inaccurately, that the CBS report on which the false story was based had since been deleted. “The simple fact that even a mainstream news source can be bullied into removing a story or a report, is quite telling on how there is no such thing as a free press anymore,” Zerfing said.


The National Pulse

445,242 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of The National Pulse, a NewsGuard Red-rated conservative news site run by former Breitbart U.K. editor Raheem Kassam.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 1, 2020, post linking to a National Pulse article that cautioned, “WARNING: Democrat data firm admits ‘incredible’ Trump landslide will be flipped by mail-in votes emerging a week after Election Day,” adding — without evidence — that this situation is “eerily similar to [Nigel] Farage’s forewarning of how ‘dark art operatives in the Democrats’ are intent on ‘abusing’ mail-in ballots to secure a victory for Biden.”
    • There is no evidence that Democrats will abuse mail-in voting to ensure Biden wins the election. Further, any votes counted after Election Day will not “flip” the result from Election Day; rather, those votes will reveal the true winner, which will only be known once all ballots are counted. 

TheNationalPulse.com did not respond to an email from NewsGuard seeking comment on the site’s publication of a false election claim.


Tea Party

409,683 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page affiliated with TeaParty.org, a NewsGuard Red-rated news site that promotes the Tea Party political movement and has published conspiracy theories. 

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 3, 2020, post linking to a TeaParty.org article that falsely claimed “counterfeit mail-in ballots can be mixed into the results that swing the election to one candidate, i.e. Biden” and speculated that “mail-in votes for another candidate, i.e. Trump, could be conveniently ‘lost in the mail.’”
    • There is no evidence suggesting the existence of counterfeit mail-in ballots, nor is there evidence of Trump votes going missing. 

TeaParty.org did not respond to an email from NewsGuard seeking comment on the site’s publication of a false election claim.


Rock n Roll Never Dies

390,228 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page for music fans that posts songs and photos related to rock music, and occasionally posts anti-Democrat memes and articles.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 17, 2020, post linking to an article that claimed, correctly, that military ballots had been found in the trash in Pennsylvania. However, the Facebook post stated that all the ballots were Trump ballots, despite the fact that U.S. Justice Department officials had announced several weeks earlier, on September 24, that in fact, not all of the ballots had been cast for President Trump.
    • Posting an uncorrected article several weeks after one of its key facts had been debunked is still misinformation, even if unintentional.

The Rock n Roll Never Dies page did not include contact information for its managers, and the page was not connected to Facebook Messenger, so NewsGuard was not able to contact the page regarding its publication of a false election claim. 


Stars and Stripes Forever PAC

389,437 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of Stars and Stripes Forever, a super PAC created in August 2013 to convince Ben Carson, now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to run for president.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 1, 2020, post linking to an article that cautioned, “WARNING: Democrat data firm admits ‘incredible’ Trump landslide will be flipped by mail-in votes emerging a week after Election Day,” adding — without evidence — that this situation is “eerily similar to [Nigel] Farage’s forewarning of how ‘dark art operatives in the Democrats’ are intent on ‘abusing’ mail-in ballots to secure a victory for Biden.”

Stars and Stripes Forever PAC did not respond to an email from NewsGuard seeking comment on the site’s publication of a false election claim.


Red White Blue News

374,441 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with the website ConservativeBrief.com, a right-leaning news site that has advanced misinformation about U.S. politics. 

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Aug. 31, 2020, post with link to an article on ConservativeBrief.com that falsely claimed that a “judge TOSSES 50,000 illegal ballots,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email associated with the Red White Blue News page seeking comment on the page’s publication of a false election claim.


James T Harris

369,479 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of James T. Harris, a radio talk show host who is described on the Facebook page as “ringmaster of the conservative circus.”

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 16, 2020, post with link to an article that named Norm Eisen, who served as counsel for the Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, as the “central operative” in the “color revolutions,” protests movements that the site falsely called “coordinated efforts of government bureaucrats, NGOs, and the media to oust President Trump.”
    • There is no evidence to back up the theory that a “deep state” comprising government officials, including Eisen, has sought to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidency and “oust” him. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to James Harris seeking comment on his page’s publication of a false election claim. 


President Trump Has My Vote

350,160 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with conservative website TrendingPolitics.com.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 1, 2020, post with link to an article on TrendingPolitics.com that falsely claimed that “50,000 ballots [were] TOSSED after official ‘altered’ them,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to the President Trump Has My Vote page seeking comment on the false claim published by the page about the election. The message has not drawn a response.


Viral Patriot

338,195 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with the website ConservativeBrief.com that also posts stories from several right-leaning news sites.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 7, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely asserted that, if the state of Michigan does not finish counting all votes on election night, counting votes past November 3 is “voter fraud” and amounts to a plan to “tamper with the 2020 Presidential election vote.”
    • Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has warned vote-counting is likely to take several days beyond November 3, due to the high number of mail-in ballots. 
  • Sept. 1, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely claimed there is a “SERIOUS FRAUD ALERT” likely if President Trump appears to have more votes on election night but then, when mail-in ballots are counted, Biden wins the presidency. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email associated with the Viral Patriot page seeking comment on the page’s publication of false election claims.


To The Death Media

327,912 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with the website ConservativeBrief.com that posts stories from several right-leaning news sites.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 7, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely asserted that, if the state of Michigan does not finish counting all votes on election night, counting votes past November 3 is “voter fraud” and amounts to a plan to “tamper with the 2020 Presidential election vote.”
  • Sept. 1, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely claimed there is a “SERIOUS FRAUD ALERT” likely if President Trump appears to have more votes on election night but then, when mail-in ballots are counted, Biden wins the presidency. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email associated with the To The Death Media page seeking comment on the page’s publication of false election claims.


Rush Limbaugh Radio

296,678 Facebook page likes

A Rush Limbaugh fan page that is not affiliated with the radio host and frequently posts articles from 100PercentFedUp.com, a conservative news website.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 17, 2020, post linking to an article published on 100PercentFedUp.com that falsely claimed “372,000 mail-in ballots rejected” in “critical swing state” Pennsylvania, when in fact 372,000 ballot applications were rejected.

In an email to NewsGuard, Patty McMurray, a co-owner of the site 100PercentFedUp.com and the author of the article, said that the site has since corrected the article to reflect that Pennsylvania rejected ballot applications, not ballots, although the false, uncorrected post remains accessible on Facebook. (McMurray’s full statement to NewsGuard appears above, in the section corresponding with the page “100 Percent FED Up.”)


MAGA REVOLUTION

282,642 Facebook page likes

A Trump Facebook fan page associated with the website ConservativeBrief.com

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Aug. 31, 2020, post linking to an article on ConservativeBrief.com that falsely claimed that a “judge TOSSES 50,000 illegal ballots,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to the MAGA REVOLUTION page seeking comment on the false claim published by the page about the election. The message has not drawn a response.


Republican Patriots

230,648 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with conservative website TrendingPolitics.com.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 1, 2020, post with link to an article on TrendingPolitics.com that falsely claimed that “50,000 ballots [were] TOSSED after official ‘altered’ them,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to the Republican Patriots page seeking comment on the false claim published by the page about the election. The message has not drawn a response.


Taking Back America

203,787 Facebook page likes

A Donald Trump Facebook fan page that is associated with the website ConservativeBrief.com.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Aug. 31, 2020, post linking to an article on ConservativeBrief.com. The post falsely claimed that a “judge TOSSES 50,000 illegal ballots,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to the Taking Back America page seeking comment on the false claim published by the page about the election. The message has not drawn a response.


Fed Up Americans

186,914 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page affiliated with 100PercentFedUp.com, a conservative website.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 17, 2020, post linking to a 100PercentFedUp.com article that falsely claimed “372,000 mail-in ballots rejected” in “critical swing state” Pennsylvania, when in fact 372,000 ballot applications were rejected.

In an email to NewsGuard, Patty McMurray, a co-owner of the site 100PercentFedUp.com and the author of the article, said that the site has since corrected the article to reflect that Pennsylvania rejected ballot applications, not ballots, although the false, uncorrected post remains accessible on Facebook. (McMurray’s full statement to NewsGuard appears above, in the section corresponding with the page “100 Percent FED Up.”)


I Support Barron Trump

182,850 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page that claims to defend Barron Trump, President Trump’s 14-year-old son, from “attacks by the left-wing” but mainly posts articles from unreliable news sources.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 28, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely claimed that Colorado sent “ballots to illegals and the dead.”
  • Sept. 7, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely asserted that, if the state of Michigan does not finish counting all votes on election night, counting votes past November 3 is “voter fraud” and amounts to a plan to “tamper with the 2020 Presidential election vote.”
  • Sept. 1, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely claimed there is a “SERIOUS FRAUD ALERT” likely if President Trump appears to have more votes on election night but then, when mail-in ballots are counted, Biden wins the presidency. 

NewsGuard sent a Facebook message to the I Support Barron Trump page seeking comment on the false election claims published by the page. The message has not drawn a response.


Donald Trump for President – Martin County Florida

181,422 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of a local pro-Trump organization on Florida’s east coast.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 15, 2020, post linking to an article that named Norm Eisen, who served as counsel for the Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, as the “central operative” in the “color revolutions,” referring to protest movements that the site falsely called “coordinated efforts of government bureaucrats, NGOs, and the media to oust President Trump.”

The Donald Trump for President – Martin County Florida page did not include contact information for its managers, and the page was not connected to Facebook Messenger, so NewsGuard was not able to contact the page regarding its publication of a false election claim. 


Women for Trump

180,543 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page run by the two owners of 100PercentFedUp.com, a conservative news site.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 17, 2020, post linking to an article published on 100PercentFedUp.com that falsely claimed “372,000 mail-in ballots rejected” in “critical swing state” Pennsylvania, when in fact 372,000 ballot applications were rejected.

In an email to NewsGuard, Patty McMurray, a co-owner of the site 100PercentFedUp.com and the author of the article, said that the site has since corrected the article to reflect that Pennsylvania rejected ballot applications, not ballots, although the false, uncorrected post remains accessible on Facebook. (McMurray’s full statement to NewsGuard appears above, in the section corresponding with the page “100 Percent FED Up.”)


Conservative Renaissance

169,227 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page associated with the website ConservativeBrief.com.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Aug, 31, 2020, post with link to an article on ConservativeBrief.com. The post falsely claimed that a “judge TOSSES 50,000 illegal ballots,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to an address associated with the Conservative Renaissance page seeking comment on the page’s publication of a false election claim.


Conservative Momma

157,032 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page run by Rachel Keane, who also operates the political and parenting blog ConservativeMomma.com.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 14, 2020, post linking to an article from TheFederalist.com, a NewsGuard Red-rated site, that made numerous false claims. The article wrongly asserted that Democratic commentator and former diplomat Michael McFaul has signalled that “revolution is now achievable” and claimed that a tweet from McFaul noting that members of the military have turned against President Trump is “essentially a ‘go code’ that revolution is now achievable,” which fits with Democrats’ goal of “pushing our country into full-scale civil conflict.” The Federalist also falsely claimed that Democrats are “actively sabotaging the 2020 election by pushing ‘cheat-by-mail’ voter fraud.”

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to an address associated with the Conservative Momma page seeking comment on the page’s publication of a false election claim.


Conservative Firing Line

149,341 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of ConservativeFiringLine.com, a NewsGuard Red-rated news and opinion website that has promoted false claims and conspiracy theories.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 20, 2020, post linking to a ConservativeFiringLine.com article that named Norm Eisen, who served as counsel for the Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, as the “central operative” in the “color revolutions,” referring to protest movements that the site falsely called “coordinated efforts of government bureaucrats, NGOs, and the media to oust President Trump.”

In an email to NewsGuard, ConservativeFiringLine.com owner Joe Newby disputed the characterization of this post as false. “You may disagree with the author’s conclusions, and that is your right. That does not make the piece false. You cannot deny that there has been a concerted effort by the left, funded in part by George Soros, to undermine the president and interfere with the 2020 election,” Newby said.  “I know exactly what your organization is all about. It is not uncommon for your group to cherry-pick bits and pieces of a particular post out of the more than 15,000 we have published to try to make your case.”


PolitiChicks

146,990 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page affiliated with right-leaning website PolitiChicks.com that “believes conservative women — with their maternal instincts and warrior spirit — can change the world.”

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 17, 2020, post linking to an article published on 100PercentFedUp.com that falsely claimed “372,000 mail-in ballots rejected” in “critical swing state” Pennsylvania, when in fact 372,000 ballot applications were rejected.

In an email to NewsGuard, Patty McMurray, a co-owner of the site 100PercentFedUp.com and the author of the article, said that the site has since corrected the article to reflect that Pennsylvania rejected ballot applications, not ballots, although the false, uncorrected post remains accessible on Facebook. (McMurray’s full statement to NewsGuard appears above, in the section corresponding with the page “100 Percent FED Up.”)


QCN (Quotidian Conservative News)

145,367 Facebook page likes

A Facebook page affiliated with the website ConservativeBrief.com.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Aug. 31, 2020, post linking to an article on ConservativeBrief.com that falsely claimed that a “judge TOSSES 50,000 illegal ballots,” suggesting the existence of a massive voter fraud case in Iowa. 

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to an address associated with the QCN page seeking comment on the page’s publication of a false election claim.


Team Trump

139,636 Facebook page likes

A Trump Facebook fan page that regularly posts links to unreliable publishers. 

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 7, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely asserted that, if the state of Michigan does not finish counting all votes on election night, counting votes past Nov.  3 is “voter fraud” and amounts to a plan to “tamper with the 2020 Presidential election vote.”
  • Sept. 1, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely claimed that there is a “SERIOUS FRAUD ALERT” likely if President Trump appears to have more votes on election night but then, when mail-in ballots are counted, Biden wins the presidency.

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to an address associated with the Team Trump page seeking comment on the page’s publication of false election claims.


Will Johnson

132,272 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of Will Johnson, who operates two NewsGuard Red-rated conservative websites (UAFReport.com and UniteAmericaFirst.com) that routinely publish misinformation.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 28, 2020, post with link to a UAFReport.com article that falsely claimed that Colorado sent “ballots to illegals and the dead.”

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to an address associated with Johnson’s page seeking comment on the page’s publication of a false election claim.


The Federalist

131,231 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of The Federalist, a NewsGuard Red-rated political news site.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 9, 2020, post linking to a Federalist article that made numerous false claims. The article wrongly asserted that Democratic commentator and former diplomat Michael McFaul has signalled that “revolution is now achievable” and claimed that a tweet from McFaul noting that members of the military have turned against President Trump is “essentially a ‘go code’ that revolution is now achievable,” which fits with Democrats’ goal of “pushing our country into full-scale civil conflict.” The Federalist also falsely claimed that Democrats are “actively sabotaging the 2020 election by pushing ‘cheat-by-mail’ voter fraud.”

TheFederalist.com did not respond to an email from NewsGuard seeking comment on the site’s publication of a false election claim.


Kyle Reyes

117,549 Facebook page likes

The public Facebook page of Kyle Reyes, a political consultant and national spokesman for the conservative news site Law Enforcement Today.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 15, 2020, post with a link to an article on LawEnforcementToday.com that falsely claimed that an error on 13,000 Utah ballots, which were erroneously sent with no signature line on the return envelope, was a “cheat-by-mail scheme.”
  • Sept. 24, 2020, post with link to an article on LawEnforcementToday.com that falsely claimed that military ballots cast for President Trump in Pennsylvania that were found to be discarded constituted a “cheat-by-mail scheme.”

NewsGuard did not receive a response to an email sent to an address associated with Reyes’s page seeking comment on the page’s publication of false election claims.


America Supports Law Enforcement

110,132 Facebook page likes

A law enforcement Facebook fan page that is associated with the website LawEnforcementToday.com.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 15, 2020, post with a link to an article on LawEnforcementToday.com that falsely claimed that an error on 13,000 Utah ballots, which were erroneously sent with no signature line on the return envelope, was a “cheat-by-mail scheme.”
  • Sept. 24, 2020, post with link to an article on LawEnforcementToday.com that falsely claimed that military ballots cast for President Trump in Pennsylvania that were found to be discarded constituted a “cheat-by-mail scheme.”

The America Supports Law Enforcement page did not include contact information for its managers, and the page was not connected to Facebook Messenger, so NewsGuard was not able to contact the page regarding its publication of false election claims. 


Greg Palast

109,215 Facebook page likes

The public Facebook page of Greg Palast, a liberal investigative journalist covering voting whose reporting has distorted and misrepresented facts.

Example of Election Misinformation:

  • Sept. 18, 2020, post linking to an article on Palast’s NewsGuard Red-rated site that promoted unfounded conspiracy theories about election results. “I expect Florida will have 6 million mail-in ballots,” the article stated. “The GOP-controlled Florida Legislature will say, we can’t count them in time, so we’re not going to certify the election” as part of a ploy to send the decision to the U.S. House, who under the 12th Amendment decides the president if no majority is reached in the electoral college. 
    • There is no evidence to suggest that the Florida legislature will refuse to certify the state’s election results. At a rally, President Trump mentioned the possibility of the election having to be decided by Congress, but stated that he does not want that to happen. “I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage,” he said at a September rally in Pennsylvania.

GregPalast.com did not respond to an email from NewsGuard seeking comment on the site’s publication of a false election claim.


Palmer Report

106,180 Facebook page likes

The Facebook page of PalmerReport.com, a NewsGuard Red-rated liberal news site that often presents unproven speculation as fact.

Examples of Election Misinformation:

  • Oct. 16, 2020, post linking to an article that falsely suggested that Republican warnings about voter fraud mimicked Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany: “‘Guarding against voter fraud’ was how Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin and other practitioners of demagoguery rigged elections,” the article claimed, adding, “That the president of the United States should be calling upon citizens to perform such acts is nothing short of disgraceful, and justly illegal in many states.”
    • It is historically inaccurate to claim that Hitler and Stalin used fear of “voter fraud” to rig elections. In the last “free” election before the Nazi party rose to power in 1933, Hitler used “extraordinary measures of terror” to convince voters to support him, the German news site DW wrote in 2013. During his genocidal reign as Fuhrer, Hitler ceased elections altogether after 1938. In Soviet Russia, despite the promise of contested elections in the Soviet Constitution, voters were often given the name of only one candidate on their ballots, according to the Wilson Center. These authoritarian regimes did not invoke fears of voter fraud; they had complete power. 
  • Sept. 8, 2020, post linking to a PalmerReport.com article falsely claiming that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, whom the site has routinely criticized for his handling of the Postal Service, “really is going to prison” for alleged campaign finance violations. 
    • The Washington Post reported in September that DeJoy had allegedly pressured employees at his former business to donate to Republicans, which is illegal under campaign finance laws. However, DeJoy has not been charged with a crime, and even if he was indicted on campaign finance charges, it is far from certain that he would face time in prison. 

In response to an email from NewsGuard inquiring about the site’s publication of false election claims, Palmer Report defended the articles. “Palmer Report’s article is 100% factually accurate and we stand by it,” the site wrote in an unsigned email, regarding the October article claiming that Hitler and Stalin had made arguments about voter fraud. In response to a question about the article that falsely claimed DeJoy was going to jail, the site told NewsGuard that the North Carolina Attorney General publicly confirmed that DeJoy’s campaign finance violations were being investigated. “These kinds of cases are cut and dry, and nearly always result in conviction. Trump can’t pardon state level charges. DeJoy is going to prison; only someone with a lack of understanding of the criminal justice system would expect otherwise,” the email from the site stated.