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Powerful and moderate online figures like Donald Trump, experts say

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

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

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

He was finally banned from Twitter for good in January after expressing his support for the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol.

Dr Bakers ‘comments were made during a hearing before Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee on the role of influencers in radicalization and disinformation online.

She said public figures should be watched because of their potential audience and ability to have an impact, adding: But what we can’t always tell you is the impact of that, what happens. goes offline.

However, what I would say about Donald Trump, particularly in regards to 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 around the same time.

What you can see there is that while we can’t necessarily establish a causal link, there is a correlation between what I would call political influencers saying online and encouraging their supporters to take action and that. that’s actually happening in the real world.

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

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