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IREHR in the Iowa Capital Dispatch: “Report says hundreds of state legislators have joined far-right Facebook groups” – May 22, 2022

By May 22, 2022May 4th, 2023No Comments2 min read

IREHR’s report, Breaching the Mainstream, was cited in the Iowa Capital Dispatch

Democracy reporter, Kira Lerner, writes, “More than 1 in 5 Republican state lawmakers across the country and 15 legislators in Iowa have joined at least one “far-right” Facebook group, according to a new report.”

Lerner continues, “The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a think tank that defends democracy and human rights, identified 875 lawmakers who have joined at least one of 789 Facebook groups, including white nationalist groups, groups tied to QAnon, groups that spout conspiracy theories about COVID-19, and others that promote former president Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election.”

IREHR’S President and Executive Director, Devin Burghart, was cited by the Iowa Capital Dispatch;

“We knew we had a problem on our hands, but we hadn’t been able to quantify the depths of it. This was a first attempt on our part to wrap our heads around it, and it was pretty striking in terms of the various pipelines that have opened up to pump disinformation and far-right ideas into legislatures.” Said Burghart

“It’s a nationwide phenomenon,” Burghart said. “Far too often, people think of this activity as being relegated to the deep South or the Pacific Northwest, but there are legislators in all 50 states who have joined these different far-right Facebook groups.”

Laura Gibbons

Author Laura Gibbons

Laura Gibbons is an IREHR research associate.

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