How political campaign emails fan the flames of misinformation

Facebook and Twitter may get all the fiasco, but a new investigation by New York Times reveals how easily and relatively secretly misinformation circulates in campaign emails by politicians, one of the “most powerful communication tools” at their disposal and much less subject to scrutiny compared to other online correspondence.

If possible, Times registered the running lists of 390 senators and representatives running for re-election and 2022, and analyzed more than 2,500 emails “to track the prevalence of false and misleading statements to help fill the political coffers.” What they discovered was that “both sides were sending tons of hype in their emails,” even though Republicans were worse offenders than Democrats; GOP lawmakers included misinformation in about 15% of their messages, compared with just 2% of Democrats. More, Times Reportedly, “multiple Republicans often make the same baseless claims, while Democrats rarely repeat each other’s claims.”

For example, at least eight Republican lawmakers sent fundraising emails incorrectly describing a potential settlement “with migrants separated from their families during the Trump administration.” One lawmaker, Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) even claimed President Biden was “granting every illegal immigrant into our country $450,000.”

On the Democratic side, the false claims are mostly about abortion. In one case, Representative Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) wrote in an email that the Mississippi abortion law in force before the Supreme Court was “closer” to the law in Texas, although such a claim was untrue. corpse. A spokesperson for Maloney said the error was an “honest mistake.”

Republican pollster Frank Luntz said of the disinformation emails: “It can be a fundraising ploy, but very often people see it as a campaign ploy. “And deceiving them in their attempt to split their money is utter evil, because you’re taking advantage of people who don’t know the difference.” How political campaign emails fan the flames of misinformation


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