The reposts and expressions of shock from public figures followed quickly after a user on the social platform X who uses a pseudonym claimed that a government website had revealed “skyrocketing” rates of voters registering without a photo ID in three states this year — two of them crucial to the presidential contest.

“Extremely concerning,” X owner Elon Musk replied twice to the post this past week.

“Are migrants registering to vote using SSN?” Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, an ally of former President Donald Trump, asked on Instagram, using the acronym for Social Security number.

Trump himself posted to his own social platform within hours to ask, “Who are all those voters registering without a Photo ID in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Arizona??? What is going on???”

Yet by the time they tried to correct the record, the false claim had spread widely. In three days, the pseudonymous user’s claim amassed more than 63 million views on X, according to the platform’s metrics. A thorough explanation from Richer attracted a fraction of that, reaching 2.4 million users.

The incident sheds light on how social media accounts that shield the identities of the people or groups behind them through clever slogans and cartoon avatars have come to dominate right-wing political discussion online even as they spread false information.

  • @Hobbes_Dent
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    1011 month ago

    Asimov: *nails it*

    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

    The bad guys since high school and in countless tales and yet still in governments and corner suites and at pulpits: *weaponizes it*

    You know who you are: *treats it all like team sports* *thinks is player* *is ball*

    • @TropicalDingdong
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      311 month ago

      I think this is a great comment and I extend the same thinking to the bullshit/ magical thinking people engage in around science/ medicine denial-ism, new age mysticism, and conspiratorial thinking/ I’d rather believe a good story modes of thinking.

      100% its a part of our political system, but as Asimov states, its in our cultural life as well, and I have no patience for it. I call it out when I see it and if that makes me the ass hole, so be it. Its a burden I’ll bear to have conversations grounded in reality or not at all.

  • @lennybird
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    Some of these are clearly wedge-driving divisive trolls posing as leftists. Especially those touting voting 3rd party or not voting.

    • @[email protected]
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      This is absolutely rampant on .ml and it drives me nuts that their predilections for stupid campism causes them to not just allow, but actively protect right wing trolls.

    • @Wooki
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      You know electoral system is truely garbage when voting for 3rd party is considered “bad”. Not a lot of freedum going on in the US.

      Additionally have you also considered some people dont agree with your political view, so not everything has to be a conspiracy

      • @lennybird
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        11 month ago

        Yep I do agree it’s bullshit. The FPTP combined with Electoral College has utterly fucked our country. I really wish we could vote for independents or 3rd party and not totally fuck everything. Unfortunately that won’t happen until changes most probably comes through Democrats as it has historically worth most other issues.

        To your second point, don’t know, it just seems extremely self-defeating to the point that one has to wonder…

    • @Hamartia
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      -51 month ago

      Some of these are clearly wedge-driving divisive (sic) trolls posing as moderates. Especially those hectoring voters that vote with their conscience now that attitudes toward a current genocide is making it impossible to vote for either of the frontrunners.

      • @lennybird
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        31 month ago
        • What’s funny is I’m not even a moderate
        • I’ve just done the comparative analysis in knowing that (a) the election outcome is inevitable where 1 of these 2 candidates will be in office whether you vote or not, and (b) one would commit MORE genocide than the other guy.
        • You thus can still vote your conscience.
        • @Hamartia
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          21 month ago

          Let me crystal clear. I do not think that your position or attitude are moderate either. Haranguing people to vote against their conscience is a bad look. Big genocide, small genocide, both are genocide. If that overloads some people’s ‘election calculus’ it’s a reasonable and engaged reaction. If anything talking down to them is more likely to turn them off voting at all.

          • @lennybird
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            1 month ago

            Normally I’d agree to each their own but I truly cannot grasp how anyone can come to the conclusion that when the two options are inevitable, they would choose more genocide over less genocide. It quite literally means less people dying. It’s the only logical and ethical choice.

            • @Hamartia
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              21 month ago

              Voting for big genocide or voting for small genocide is irreconcilably voting for genocide for some people. It’s a morally cognizant choice for some to not want to put the endorsement of their vote on either.

              • @lennybird
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                01 month ago

                I’ll never not believe that is logically and ethically-flawed thinking, sorry. A vote doesn’t mean “I Endorse Genocide,” it just means, “I am doing the thing between two inevitable choices whether I vote or not that will help Palestinians, Ukrainians, and women’s rights more than the other option.”

                If merely one less child dies, then it is clearly worth it to vote — right?

                • @Hamartia
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                  21 month ago

                  It is ‘rational’ attitudes such as this that MLK bemoaned in his Birmingham jail letters. Order above justice. An order in which the boot is not on your neck. So you minimize its dehumanizing brutality in relation to the maintenance of the day-to-day comforts you enjoy.

                  Hypothetically: if Biden was sending weapons and financial support to Russia in support of their war efforts but mildly denouncing Putin when pressed; and Trump was pledging full throated support of Putin and offering to nuke Kyiv; would you still feel so enthusiastic about voting for Biden or for your moral calculus? Might you lament the electoral system that has put this decision before you. Might you protest this mockery of democratic choice. Even if you internally still cede to moral calculus, might you continue to make your displeasure known and apply whatever pressure was within your purview as a voter to make. Might you be offended by people demanding you not only vote for Biden regardless your rightful concerns about Putin and the sovereignity of Ukrainians but also try to insinuate that you are part of some foreign operation to undermine the election for voicing your concerns?

        • @[email protected]
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          -101 month ago

          You thus can still vote your conscience

          Not if my conscious isn’t ok with voting for a genocide-doer at all

          • @lennybird
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            101 month ago

            Then you risk letting the person who will commit genocide even more.

            How is more genocide better than less genocide for your conscience?

            • @[email protected]
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              -91 month ago

              Then you risk letting the person who will commit genocide even more.

              Wrong, as I don’t live in a swing state. You know, like the majority of Americans?

              I can safely not vote for either knowing that my state isn’t going to go to Trump. I even personally know 2 people who voted Trump last election who are going third party this time around, so I’m DOUBLE-covrred.

              I just love seeing people online automatically assume people are in swing states (or that the EC doesn’t exist) and try to guilt trip people. It’s hilarious

              • @lennybird
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                1 month ago

                Wait, was it your conscience or is it because you don’t live in a swing-state…? Because you dodged the question:

                How is more genocide better than less genocide for your conscience?

                If you live in a firmly blue state that will vote for Biden, then sure your entire point is moot. But just like how red states have turned blue or at least purple (Arizona), blue or swing-states can turn red (e.g., Ohio). So it might be worth voting just to ensure that trend continues.

                Because Republicans love this messaging you’re now promoting; for it only weakens blue state strongholds as you expect other voters to do the work for you.

                • @[email protected]
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                  1 month ago

                  Can’t read, or unfamiliar with how US elections work?

                  Because I don’t live in a swing state my lack of voting for Biden does not support Trump

                  So my vote is for no genocide but my state will force it to become some genocide through the EC

                  If you want to pretend like a Californian not voting Biden is somehow giving the election to Trump: that’s a you problem and I find it hilarious

                  But Republicans love this messaging

                  And? Maybe the Dems shouldn’t put forth garbage options then. don’t blame voters for the DNCs inability to do basic shit to win elections.

      • @Cryophilia
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        -31 month ago

        Found one

        Y’all reuse the same tactics too: when accused of something, copy/paste it but change a couple of words around. EPIC WIN!!

        It’s boring, do something different.

    • Pendulum
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      -151 month ago

      Exact same arguments are made to minimise right wing extremists, “has to be a left wing false flag”.

      Both are possible. The enemy is extremism, regardless of leaning.

      • @madcaesar
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        111 month ago

        You can’t really divide right wingers. They fall in line, because they are close minded. The left’s tent is much bigger and thus much easier to divide.

  • @ChicoSuave
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    441 month ago

    The right is so desperate to be upset that they will believe anything except reality.

    • @DoomBot5
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      111 month ago

      Unfortunately it’s not only the right. A lot of people from all walks of life are jumping on misleading articles because they aling with their views and don’t bother fact checking them. You see it plenty on Lemmy.

  • circuscritic
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    1 month ago

    This is a perfect example of truthful mainstream propaganda.

    I have no doubt all of the facts in this piece are correct, but they’re also aligned in such a way to suggest to the reader that the real root of the problem is that commoners are allowed to have anonymous social media accounts not tied to a real name or some government ID program.

    • @[email protected]
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      161 month ago

      This.

      The real way to deal with this issue is immedate fact checking of information.

      The article, however, suggests that the way to deal with the issue is forcing people to use their real identities on line, which will only serve to silence speech. How many of these right wing psychopaths will happily threaten to murder you if you argue they’re wrong?

      The answer to bad speech is more speech, not suppression.

      • @[email protected]
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        61 month ago

        Fact checking the firehose of falsehoods? That’s never going to work.

        We should teach how to be critical of information.

    • paraphrand
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      1 month ago

      I keep running into people who say moderation is impossible at scale.

      It does not make surface level sense to me. But it’s true. Ban evasion is too easy. With no repercussions behavior is not socially enforced.

      If you think through it, and do want moderation and bans to work, it always comes back to having to have an authoritative index of all users. And that gets dystopian almost instantly. It always needs some organization or government to tell the platform that a user is who they say they are.

        • paraphrand
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          31 month ago

          That sounds interesting. I’d be curious to learn if:

          • It’s been proven to scale to millions of users.
          • If there are usually strong repercussions for lying.
          • @[email protected]
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            21 month ago

            You and I both! Unfortunately I am familiar with the concept but unfamiliar with any specific details.

      • @Cryophilia
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        -81 month ago

        Moderation at scale, like democracy, only works with an educated user base. When your user base is too dumb to help self-police, shit gets very difficult.

        • circuscritic
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          41 month ago

          So people don’t deserve, or can’t be trusted enough, to be allowed the right to have anonymous online accounts? Everything needs be tied to a centralized/government ID system because the average person is too stupid?

          • @Cryophilia
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            -51 month ago

            Not what I said. But you are proving my point.

            • circuscritic
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              Not what I said. But you are proving my point.

              The fact that you can’t see the irony in your own response, is more evidence for your point than anything else.

              Regardless, I don’t think that should deprive you of the right to anonymity.

              • @Cryophilia
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                -51 month ago

                Cool story bro. Still not what I said.

    • @[email protected]
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      -111 month ago

      There is not some conspiracy here where media companies are colluding with God knows who to covertly and subtly spread the idea that anonymity online is bad.

      It’s more likely that you don’t want that to be true, but recognize that at least on some level it is true, and this is how you’re grappling with that cognitive dissonance.

        • @[email protected]
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          -71 month ago

          This doesn’t show there is some conspiracy, it shows that there could be one. Maybe I should not be so forceful in my dissent, and I should say there is a potential the conspiracy is happening, but neither you nor the other poster has actually offered up any evidence of such a conspiracy. A conspiracy is always just a good way to dismiss things we don’t want to admit are true or might be true.

          • circuscritic
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            81 month ago

            You keep saying conspiracy because it’s easy to discount that label, a label that I never used.

            I wasn’t describing a plot by some old men in a smoke filled room, I was pointing out an example of propaganda used to manufacture consent.

            Unfortunately, the culprit is the system, working as designed. That’s an exponentially more dangerous villain then any cabal could ever be.

            • @[email protected]
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              -61 month ago

              You keep saying conspiracy because it’s easy to discount that label, a label that I never used.

              Because even without outright saying, it’s clearly implied. And, besides, you’ve still provided zero evidence to support the assertion. You are doing what you are accusing me of doing: using a label to assert (or in my case, dismiss) something without evidence.

  • Admiral Patrick
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    291 month ago

    This. This right here, people, is why the community rules exist and why I’m happy to see them consistently enforced.

  • @Etterra
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    271 month ago

    Anonymous Foreign

    FTFY

    • FenrirIII
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      1 month ago

      Chinese, North Korean, and Russian shills.

      Specified for you.

  • @pjwestin
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    151 month ago

    Oh, cool, a well researched article on right-wing disinformation campaigns. Can’t wait to watch the Lemmy liberals accuse leftists of being a part of this without any evidence.

    • @[email protected]
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      151 month ago

      Can’t wait for the liberals in power to try and expand the surveillance state using this as a pretext.

      • @pjwestin
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        161 month ago

        Yeah, I did notice this article had a weirdly anti-anonymity undertone, as though corporate algorithms designed push conflict and sensationalism weren’t the driving force of disinformation.

      • @UnderpantsWeevil
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        61 month ago

        Um, aktuly, social credit score is from China, sweetie. Liberals are for liberty, it’s right there in the name

      • Queen HawlSera
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        61 month ago

        I’m really happy with all the fucking porn bans and want more, yes please daddy, go through everything I"m doing and punish me for everytime I didn’t kiss the America Flag

      • @lennybird
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        1 month ago

        Can’t wait for these supposed “leftists” who-are-totally-not-righties-hiding-behind-anonymity to take for granted literally all the historical and modern day progress that came through none other than — you guessed it — the liberal legislature and liberal Justices.

        From child labor laws to the civil rights act to same sex marriage — thank a liberal.

        (Disclaimer: I’m further left than liberal on the political spectrum)

        • @[email protected]
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          Lmao, yeah, thank the well known liberals and liberals only, like MLK and Malcolm X, for civil rights they were forced to acknowledge or face race riots.

          Definitely wasn’t the liberal establishment that assassinated them either. And liberal is the opposite of conservative btw 🤣

          • @pjwestin
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            Don’t bother, I just wasted a full day arguing with this guy on exactly this topic, and he just kept doubling down. I even quoted the portion of Letter from a Birmingham Jail about white moderates and his response was, “But then white moderates passed the Civil Rights Act a year later! How curious!” There is no amount of information that will convince him that moderate Liberals weren’t responsible for the victories of the Civil Right movement.

            Edit: See what I mean? Guys desperate for my attention 2 days later.

              • @pjwestin
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                31 month ago

                Exactly. Every time Liberals yield to pressure from leftists, these chuds want to credit the Liberals.