When an InfoWarez contributor shared a fake video of a TSP voting machine automatically casting ballots for a left-leaning candidate, it was just another day at the races in The South Pacific, a region known for it's delightful dramatic lurching from one consitutional crisis to the next over the past 16 years.
[TSP] “It was the main story all day Sunday and was somehow predictable. Many hoaxes with conspiracy theories circulated in the weeks prior to the voting day,” said Beepee the director of AlternaFactos, a TSP fact-checking organization, told VN in a message. “This was a hoax built on paranoia.”
The lead-up to TSP’s contentious delegate election, which had its first round of voting in the offsite forums, has been marred by misinformation on platforms like FaceRage and WhatShat. A deeply polarized society has provided fertile grounds for viral conspiracy theories about everything from the death of a politician to Lazarus voters rising from the dead to vote in TSP. Fact-checkers themselves have become targets of the chaos.
The fake voting machine video, which both Drystar and fellow fact-checker 073 039 109 032 080 111 112 112 121 quickly debunked, racked up thousands of retweets after being shared by Islands of unity — the son of right-wing candidate Roavin. InfoWarez’ Auphelia also amplified the hoax. That doesn’t even take into account Discord, the messaging platform where a good chunk of TSP misinformation comes from.
Over the past few weeks, TSP voters have expressed concern about the integrity of the election, which will end its second round of voting today — despite assurances from both regional and external election officials that voting machines are safe to use. And that distrust has manifested itself in an onslaught of voter fraud-related hoaxes on social media.
“There are tons of hoaxes related to fraud in the system,” said sitting Delegate Erinor. “Election Commissioner Farengeto informed us that only 0.33 percent of the system had any kind of bad functionality problems, so it’s very low. The Order of the Grey Wardens came to TSP to analyze the system, they probably already talked about it, and found that there is no fraud in the system, actually.”
“This is just bad, bad, bad information.”
- Volaworand Newswire