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Previous story The MAGA bullhorn shouts Trump's baseless claims of fraud Next story

STORY BY TINA NGUYEN AND MARK SCOTT

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Published on November 5, 2020 3:37 AM

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The MAGA bullhorn shouts Trump's baseless claims of fraud
On Tuesday afternoon, the MAGA internet was quiet at best, bitter at worst.

By Wednesday, it was crowing and chest-thumping about voter fraud and the establishment's destruction, flooding social media with viral — and incorrect — accusations of electoral theft.

What started as a day of uncharacteristic restraint for President Donald Trump's supporters on Tuesday quickly turned into a round of "I told you so" admonishments as it became clear Democrats would not sweep the board and that Trump had outperformed his poor standing in the polls. To them, it proved, once again, that they were right and mainstream media culture was wrong.

Then Trump walked out to the White House podium early Wednesday morning to falsely proclaim that Democrats were trying to steal the election from him. And he turbocharged his freshly energized legion of all-caps online backers.

Within hours, far-right influencers and partisan news outlets had jumped on that message, using the hashtags #VoterFraud and #StealTheVote to garner more than 300,000 interactions, including likes, comments and shares on Facebook, according to data from CrowdTangle, a social analytics firm owned by Facebook. That included Facebook pages with millions of followers promoting fake videos of Joe Biden saying the Democratic Party was carrying out an extensive voter fraud campaign.

Though internet commentary is not the real world, digital MAGA's last-effort push will shape the GOP's view of how to interpret the 2020 election. And as final votes are tallied, recount ...