Around half of the top US Facebook posts since Election Day are sowing doubt about the legitimacy of the election

  • At least half of the most popular US Facebook posts in the week since Election Day have sown misinformation or doubt about the result, data shows.
  • Business Insider analyzed data pulled from CrowdTangle, a tool developed by Facebook to monitor posts that go viral.
  • Top-performing topics include Trump saying he won the election, or links to articles alleging irregularities in the counting of votes. 
  • On some of the posts, Facebook appended labels highlighting that their claims were contested — but they did little to hamper their popularity. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A majority of the most popular US posts on Facebook since Election Day have sown doubt about the legitimacy of Joe Biden's election win, a Business Insider analysis has shown. 

Posts falsely claiming President Donald Trump won the election, or alluding to various unconfirmed hitches in the vote count have had hundreds of thousands of interactions.

The data came from CrowdTangle, a tool developed by Facebook to monitor content going viral.

Business Insider analyzed the top 10 posts from November 3 to November 10 in two separate categories. The first was posts which included links to external media, and the second was for posts which did not.

Facebook attached warning labels to some of the posts, flagging that their claims are disputed, but the pushback did not stop them being seen widely.

Top posts include:

  • Trump falsely alleging fraudulent votes and the prevention of election observers (source).
  • Three links to news stories by the right-wing news site Breitbart, alleging election irregularities in numerous places (source 1, source 2, source 3).
  • Trump falsely alleging that votes cast after Election Day will not be counted (source).
  • Rightwing commentator Dan Bongino sharing news that Sen. Lindsey Graham donated to Trump's legal fund to contest the results (source).

Seven days of misinformation

Of the 10 most-interacted posts without links in them since November 3, nine have been by President Donald Trump and six contained outright untruths about the election. 

This includes one from November 7, around an hour after major TV networks called the election in Joe Biden's favor, in which the president falsely stated: "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!" 

Facebook has flagged those posts with notes linking users to the correct information. This aligns with a decision from June to label —  but not remove — politicians' misinformation. The company did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

A similar pattern can be found in the top 10 posts with links in the same time frame. Five of them, while not all directly challenging the result, allude to claims of election fraud. 

The most interacted-with link was a post by Fox News posting an article with the headline: "Jason Aldean's wife Brittany stands up for fellow Republicans, Trump after backlash from Biden supporters." 

The text accompanying the link noted that Brittany Aldean — the wife of a country music singer — had worn a Trump sweatshirt saying "Still my president" on it. 

While Fox News election reporters have largely pushed back at election misinformation, its primetime opinion stars have not hesitated to amplify it. 

Three further linked posts in the top 10 from the last week were from President Trump, sharing articles from Breitbart with claims of voting irregularities in Detroit, Fulton County, and Georgia statewide. 

"What a total mess this 'election' has been!" Trump wrote on one post.

A team of 28 international election observers have said they found no evidence of voter fraud or irregularities during the election, as Business Insider's Ashley Collman reported. 

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