Of course we’re avid, avid watchers of Tucker Carlson. But insofar as he’s like the shit filter, which is that if things make it as far as Tucker Carlson, then they probably have much more like…stuff that we can look at online. And so sometimes he’ll start talking about something and we don’t really understand where it came from and then when we go back online we can find that there’s quite a bit of discourse about “wouldn’t it be funny if people believed this about antifa.”
I think those of us who study and think about mis- and disinformation, it’s very tempting to study what’s in front of us. And so there’s a disproportionate focus on Twitter, because it’s the easiest to study because there’s an open API—although, caveats—and Facebook. That’s a lot of the places that we study. And similarly, that’s a lot of the places that journalists look for content and sources and stories. And so we end up kind of really just thinking about that as the “problem,” when actually we need to think about the full ecosystem.