Object 1: Tweet made by former president Trump
June 2, 2021
This tweet was written by former president Trump during the US 2020 presidential election, and it has been flagged as misleading by twitter, as official sources had not yet called the race. The tweet states, “I HAVE WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” At the time this was tweeted, Donald Trump had almost 90,000,000 followers who potentially saw this factually incorrect tweet, which proves one challenge raised by the dissemination and/or communication of knowledge – fake news.
This tweet is particularly interesting for this exhibition because one challenge raised by the communication of knowledge, particularly on the internet, is the phenomenon of echo chambers. An echo chamber is an environment where similar beliefs are amplified and reinforced by communication, and alternative opinions are not considered. Seeing as Trump is a considerably right-wing politician, this means the majority of his followers are also right-wing, and frequently encounter similar beliefs reinforced on their social media, thanks to their respective echo chambers. This tweet enriches this exhibition because it is a perfect example of why echo chambers can be dangerous, and why they are a challenge in the dissemination of knowledge. This is because if someone following Trump on Twitter sees this tweet, they are more likely to be misled if everyone else on their feed is agreeing with it.
The real world context is beliefs expressed on social media cannot exist in a vacuum. If someone is left-wing and exposed to liberal views on social media, they will most likely become more liberal in the real world, because we see online influences us in person. This how political views can be influenced via social media, and why Trump tweeting misinformation to 90 million people is particularly dangerous. This tweet shows the dangerous nature of fake news and the real world consequences it has, as well as how fake news is a challenge raised by the communication of knowledge.