Twitter today was ablaze with activity over the USPS, with users spreading unhinged conspiracies about Trump and his supporters stealing mail trucks and moving mail boxes as a form of national voter suppression. With celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis spreading them to their millions of followers. She tweets “I swear, in broad daylight, the driver of the red truck had a red cap on with white letters. Conspiracy?”
I swear, in broad daylight, the driver of the red truck had a red cap on with white letters. Conspiracy? Outright attempt at stealing the election by denying the access of the @USPS ? Let’s not let it happen! @JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/gG765Caldm— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) August 11, 2020
Jaime Lee Curtis tweets about a mail truck and Trump supporters
Along with claiming Trump supporters are stealing mail trucks, they’re also claiming that the USPS is moving mail boxes to further suppress the vote. Users such as Mark, claim that “Trump is trying to steal the election. He is gutting the USPS to make it difficult for people to vote by mail.”
?Please share this picture far and wide. Trump is trying to steal the election. He is gutting the USPS to make it difficult for people to vote by mail. Here in Oregon, that’s our only option. This demands attention! @OregonGovBrown pic.twitter.com/JSsmA0FTzY— Mark Ⴟ Delaney (@markdelaneysays) August 9, 2020
Another tweet about the conspiracy
While this may seem like something Twitter would ban, it seems to be proliferating all over the platform, making it’s way onto journalist’s feeds, making the situation even worse. The truth, however, is not connected to the current administration. As the WSJ states in an opinion piece by the Editorial Board, the USPS has been on the decline for years now, and this is just a symptom of having more addresses but less revenue.
Graph depicting trends over time from the WSJ
The graph above shows the relationship between total points of delivery (or total addresses and PO boxes) and pieces of mail sent through the system each year. Ever since the recession of 2008, we’ve seen a decline in mail usage as the internet began to take over snail mail. And we are just now seeing the repercussions of this. But Twitter continues to fuel the unhinged fear and conspiracies about Trump.
If these pics r real, r we watching mailbaoxes being picked up off the street in Oregon and NY? R we watching vtr suppression in broad daylight right in front of our eyes?! In my life I’ve never seen trucks hauling mailboxes away. + it’s happening in many places before election?! pic.twitter.com/WRVXkmhJmN— Thomas Richner (@trichner) August 14, 2020
A response to Joe Biden about mail in voting
Yes this is real and only now becoming a major story. They allegedly pulled back in western states but no confirmation in the east.— Tyrone Scott (@tyronescott32) August 15, 2020
Tyrone Scott’s response to Thomas Richner
It’s real pic.twitter.com/sUDSI0GIqY— ?️rkansas is home ? (@FederalHog2011) August 15, 2020
Someone even posted a picture of a “memorial” where a mailbox once stood. This conspiracy is quit unhinged.
But, some at least some try to have a sense of humor during all of this.
Tried to put a letter in the mailbox and a hand with a gun popped out.— Brent Terhune (@BrentTerhune) August 15, 2020
THE. MAIL. IS. NOT. SAFE.