Within hours, the 90-second clip was being shared on news sites and conservative YouTube accounts, offered as apparent proof that illegal votes were being smuggled in after polls closed. Prominent Republicans, including Eric Trump, one of the president's sons, amplified the falsehoods on social media. Within a day, views of the video shot up past a million.
That single video serves as a powerful emblem of the trafficking in false information that has plagued the presidential election won by Joe Biden. In other videos, photos and social media posts, supporters of President Donald Trump, and most notably the incumbent himself, have raised doubts about the outcome based on problems that did not occur.
Though the clip was quickly discredited by news organizations and public officials — the man depicted was a photojournalist hauling camera equipment, not illegal votes — to many viewers it had its intended effect.
Eric Hainline, a UPS driver from Dayton, Ohio, watched the video and many like it, and said the images reinforced his suspicions that the election was stolen from Trump.