Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has been spreading misinformation about the 2020 U.S. presidential election, claiming that it was stolen by “a massive amount of election fraud.” This has raised concerns about the role of technology in the spread of misinformation, especially ahead of the 2024 election.
According to a report by The Washington Post, Alexa cited the video-streaming platform Rumble and the subscription newsletter service Substack to support its claims. Rumble is popular with right-wing commentators, and Substack has been used to spread misinformation about the 2020 election.
An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that the responses were “errors that were delivered a small number of times, and quickly fixed when brought to our attention.” The spokesperson added that Amazon “continually audit and improve the systems we have in place for detecting and blocking inaccurate content.” However, after The Post approached Amazon for comment, Alexa began to decline to answer if the 2020 election had been stolen.
Experts have warned that the spread of misinformation about elections can erode public trust in democracy and lead to violence. In the United States, the false claims about the 2020 election culminated in a violent revolt on January 6, 2021.
The sources for this piece include an article in BusinessInsider.