Moderate strong numbers online like Donald Trump, experts tell MPs


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Powerful influencers like Donald Trump should be moderated on social media platforms, experts told MPs.

Dr. Stephanie Alice Baker, a lecturer in sociology at the City University of London, warned that there was a “correlation” between what political influencers say and the actions of their supporters.

The former US president notoriously defended the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off the coronavirus – advice that contradicted his own health officials.

He was finally banned from Twitter permanently in January after speaking out in favor of rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Dr. Baker were given during a hearing before the Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee on the Role of Influencers in Internet Radicalization and Disinformation.

She said that public figures should be monitored for their potential reach and impact, adding, “Back then there were only discussions about Donald Trump and so often with influencers that we, as researchers, can tell you as much about it as ourselves Spread misinformation and disinformation. But what we can’t always tell you is the impact of what happens offline.

“However, what I would say about Donald Trump, particularly regarding his messages during the pandemic, is that there have been several notable studies that have examined the correlation between his advice on hydroxychloroquine and prescriptions over the same period.

“What you can see there is that while we can’t necessarily make a causal link, there is a correlation between what I would say political influencers online and encourage their followers to act, and what is actually in the real world World happens. “

She made the comments in response to a question from Labor MP Kevin Bannon, who asked if public figures should be moderated differently on social media platforms.

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