Politics

Election fraud claims flop as online misinformation campaigns fail

Unfounded claims of election fraud circulating on-line are primarily based on misunderstandings in regards to the electoral course of, as fringe and conspiracy teams seek for a motive to not consider their dismal election consequence.

After a poor displaying from freedom movement-aligned events, members in on-line teams devoted to spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories questioned whether or not the election consequence could possibly be actual. Posts circulated in Facebook teams and Telegram chats urging folks to make use of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)’s fraud criticism course of if they’d any proof. For probably the most half, electoral fraud claims didn’t burst by way of the bubble of present on-line conspiracy communities. 

One vital false declare involved candidates not being listed as independents on poll papers. Figures reminiscent of former Liberal National Party and One Nation politician Steve Dickson, and anti-vaccine, freedom-movement figures Morgan C Jonas, Monica Smit and Rebecca Lloyd, had been ineligible for the title of “independent” as a result of they ran as unendorsed group candidates. Upset by this, these figures have since unfold misinformation that that is electoral fraud and, in Dickson’s case, are searching for to launch a (probably crowdfunded) authorized problem.

Another extensively unfold principle mistook the official vote rely course of as proof that minor events’ votes had been being undercounted. AEC process is to rely first preferences and two-party most well-liked to have the ability to give an early indication of who wins a seat. Viral posts claiming to be authored by scrutineers misinterpreted this as ignoring minor social gathering votes: “An instruction came through from AEC and advised the supervisor to take preferences from ON, UAP, Labor and the Greens and allocate those preferences,” one submit stated. 

Fresh off a disappointing return on funding for his near-$100 million election spend, Clive Palmer additionally peddled a particular, absurd declare that AEC workers had interfered with the vote. During Sky News’ election night time broadcaster, the billionaire alleged that one among his candidates adopted AEC workers house and filmed them taking votes house. Palmer didn’t reply to a request to remark or to supply this video. 

The AEC disputed this declare: “We track and account for every ballot paper in the election with a documented chain of custody and rigorous ballot storage and transport arrangements in place,” stated a tweet from their official account

For probably the most half, these claims barely made waves. Posts mentioning “electoral fraud” or a rigged election acquired fewer than 10,000 engagements on Facebook over the previous three days in accordance with CrowdTangle — a paltry quantity. Figures within the motion both haven’t commented (Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts) and even have endorsed the legitimacy of the method (Topher Field). 

Ironically, the freedom motion’s makes an attempt to show their voters the ins and outs of the electoral course of in an effort to maximise their electoral affect might have ended up educating a few of them to know and belief the method.



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