Today’s excellent-as-always Daily 202 includes an illustration of how a single influential person can shift the online discussion:
“The chart below [Ed. note: reprinted above] shows the spike in mentions of a “rigged” election in Tweets and stories that also mention Trump. Our analytics partners at Zignal Labs saw more mentions of a “rigged election” this weekend than in the rest of October combined. This was driven by Trump repeating it over and over…”
Repeating the (false when it comes to voter fraud) claim in tweets like this one, which has already been retweeted over 35,000 times:
Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2016
So the next time someone asks you why we invest time and energy to recruit online influencers to our causes, you can point to this moment as an example. Most of our organizations don’t have as fervid a social-media following as Trump does, but employing influencers as ambassadors can amplify a message enough for it to bubble to the surface of the online conversation. And your allies don’t have to have millions of followers, if their fans are concentrated in an audience you need to reach.
Today’s “Daily 202” also includes tweets pushing back against Trump’s claims, which many Republicans are doing — to The Donald’s anger and apparent dismay. The idea that liberals and The Establishment will somehow steal the election is spreading, though, with all of all of its corrosive danger in tow. In 2008 I wrote that “Populism turns to demagoguery faster than you can say Huey Long, and the tools donâ€™t care who uses them.” I didn’t expect to see proof so stark in so few years.