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posted by martyb on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-a-right-wing-thing dept.

Fake News Sharing in US is a Right-Wing Thing, Says Study

A study by researchers at Oxford University concluded that sharing fake and junk news is much more prevalent amongst Trump supporters and other people with hard right-wing tendencies.

From the Guardian:

The study, from the university's "computational propaganda project", looked at the most significant sources of "junk news" shared in the three months leading up to Donald Trump's first State of the Union address this January, and tried to find out who was sharing them and why.

"On Twitter, a network of Trump supporters consumes the largest volume of junk news, and junk news is the largest proportion of news links they share," the researchers concluded. On Facebook, the skew was even greater. There, "extreme hard right pages – distinct from Republican pages – share more junk news than all the other audiences put together.

Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption over Social Media in the US

What kinds of social media users read junk news? We examine the distribution of the most significant sources of junk news in the three months before President Donald Trump's first State of the Union Address. Drawing on a list of sources that consistently publish political news and information that is extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked commentary, fake news and other forms of junk news, we find that the distribution of such content is unevenly spread across the ideological spectrum. We demonstrate that (1) on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of known junk news sources and circulates more junk news than all the other groups put together; (2) on Facebook, extreme hard right pages—distinct from Republican pages—share the widest range of known junk news sources and circulate more junk news than all the other audiences put together; (3) on average, the audiences for junk news on Twitter share a wider range of known junk news sources than audiences on Facebook's public pages.

http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/polarization-partisanship-and-junk-news/

[Ed. note: page is loading very slowly; try a direct link to the actual report (pdf). --martyb]


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

 
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:48PM (39 children)

    by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:48PM (#634853) Homepage Journal

    It's pretty easy to just dismiss this without knowing anything about the study. I think it useful to at least look at the sampling and methodology before accepting or rejecting it. Of course, that's too much work if your biases cause you to simply accept or reject the research without understanding what was actually done (the TFS certainly doesn't give much information about that).

    According to the actual paper:

    STUDY SAMPLE AND METHOD
    For this study, a seed of known propaganda websites
    across the political spectrum was used, drawing from
    a sample of 22,117,221 tweets collected during the
    US election, between November 1-11, 2016. (The full
    seed list is in the online supplement and available as
    a standalone spreadsheet.) We identified sources of
    junk news and information, based on a grounded
    typology. Sources of junk news deliberately publish
    misleading, deceptive or incorrect information
    purporting to be real news about politics, economics
    or culture. This content includes various forms of
    extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked
    commentary, fake news and other forms of junk news.
    For a source to be labeled as junk news it must fall in
    at least three of the following five domains:

    • Professionalism: These outlets do not employ
    the standards and best practices of professional
    journalism. They refrain from providing clear
    information about real authors, editors,
    publishers and owners. They lack transparency,
    accountability, and do not publish corrections on
    debunked information.
    • Style: These outlets use emotionally driven
    language with emotive expressions, hyperbole,
    ad hominem attacks, misleading headlines,
    excessive capitalization, unsafe generalizations
    and fallacies, moving images, graphic pictures
    and mobilizing memes.
    • Credibility: These outlets rely on false
    information and conspiracy theories, which they
    often employ strategically. They report without
    consulting multiple sources and do not employ
    fact-checking methods. Their sources are often
    untrustworthy and their standards of news
    production lack credibility.
    • Bias: Reporting in these outlets is highly biased
    and ideologically skewed, which is otherwise
    described as hyper-partisan reporting. These
    outlets frequently present opinion and
    commentary essays as news.
    • Counterfeit: These outlets mimic professional
    news media. They counterfeit fonts, branding
    and stylistic content strategies. Commentary and
    junk content is stylistically disguised as news,
    with references to news agencies, and credible
    sources, and headlines written in a news tone,
    with bylines, date, time and location stamps.
      Sources of junk news were evaluated and reevaluated
    in a rigorously iterative coding process. A
    team of 12 trained coders, familiar with the US
    political and media landscape, labeled sources of
    news and information based on a grounded typology.
    The Krippendorff’s alpha value for inter-coder
    reliability among three executive coders, who
    developed the grounded typology, was 0.805. The 91
    sources of political news and information, which we
    identified over the course of several years of research
    and monitoring, produce content that includes various
    forms of propaganda and ideologically extreme,
    hyper-partisan, and conspiratorial political
    information. We tracked how the URLs to these
    websites were being shared over Twitter and
    Facebook (see online supplement for details)

    The online supplement mentioned can be had here [ox.ac.uk]

    Note that the online supplement includes all the sources, the criteria by which those sources were classified, and the statistical methods used for the analysis, allowing you to replicate (or attempt to) this work if you choose.

    --
    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
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  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:56PM (20 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:56PM (#634861) Journal

    It's pretty easy to just dismiss this without knowing anything about the study.

    Indeed. Let us recall that just because researchers claim they use a certain methodology, it doesn't mean [wattsupwiththat.com] that they actually do. Research that comes up with a notable political bias probably isn't firing on all cylinders.

    • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:00PM (18 children)

      by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:00PM (#634863) Homepage Journal

      Indeed. Let us recall that just because researchers claim they use a certain methodology, it doesn't mean [wattsupwiththat.com] that they actually do. Research that comes up with a notable political bias probably isn't firing on all cylinders.

      Absolutely! You couldn't be more correct.

      So tell us, now that you have access to the data and the methodology, when will you have a report for us as to whether or not you can replicate the results?

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:24PM (17 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:24PM (#634886) Journal

        So tell us, now that you have access to the data and the methodology, when will you have a report for us as to whether or not you can replicate the results?

        Certainly. There's just the matter of funding. The above group in question received funding of around 2 million Pounds over five years. I think that's a reasonable amount in order to fund replication of the data. I await your check.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:30PM (16 children)

          by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:30PM (#634892) Homepage Journal

          if you wish your unfounded assertions to have any value other than bloviation, you need to provide some evidence.

          What's that? You won't provide any evidence for your assertions? Then we must assume they're bullshit.

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
          • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:37PM (14 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:37PM (#634903) Journal
            And that's the funding level at which I'll provide said evidence. Let us keep in mind the original researchers did not have to do this work on their own dime. I see no reason I should either.
            • (Score: 5, Touché) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:45PM (13 children)

              by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:45PM (#634909) Homepage Journal

              You also didn't need to claim they were right or wrong. You, apparently, without spending millions, knew what was correct and what wasn't.

              Now you say you need millions to back up your claim? Why should I pay for *you* to determine if *your* assertions are correct?

              Without evidence, what you claim is just rank speculation. If you want those claims treated as anything else, *you* need to back up *your* claims.

              Or is the world required to just take your word for it? Not so much.

              --
              No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
              • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:52PM (12 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:52PM (#634936) Journal

                Why should I pay for *you* to determine if *your* assertions are correct?

                Because you're the one whining about it. I think it's reasonable that you pay as a result.

                Without evidence, what you claim is just rank speculation. If you want those claims treated as anything else, *you* need to back up *your* claims.

                And I'm not willing to provide said evidence on my own dime.

                Or is the world required to just take your word for it? Not so much.

                Funny how that applies to everything, even the research we're discussing and your opinions.

                • (Score: 5, Insightful) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:04PM (11 children)

                  by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:04PM (#634971) Homepage Journal

                  Or is the world required to just take your word for it? Not so much.

                  Funny how that applies to everything, even the research we're discussing and your opinions.

                  Nope. The researchers helpfully provided all their data and their methodology. Which allows other researchers to either replicate or refute their results. That's called *science*

                  As for my opinions, I didn't offer any WRT this study. In fact, I didn't express *any* opinion about the study itself. I expressed the opinion that you were making unsubstantiated claims. That doesn't imply that I believe the researchers were correct.

                  But the researchers did provide me with the tools and information I'd need to get enough information to form an opinion about the research.

                  Which is a heck of lot more than you did. Which is zero. Rather, you just spouted off without any evidence at all.

                  --
                  No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
                  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:28PM (10 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:28PM (#635093) Journal

                    The researchers helpfully provided all their data and their methodology.

                    But not the funding as I have helpfully noted earlier. And you're making a rather generous assumption that what they claim is their data and methodology actually is. That is one of the points of replication.

                    But the researchers did provide me with the tools and information I'd need to get enough information to form an opinion about the research.

                    But as I have noted, not the funding.

                    Which is a heck of lot more than you did. Which is zero.

                    Let us remember that that research led to conclusions which happen to be politically convenient? I will not "provide" when no one is paying me to undertake that considerable effort. Instead, let us recall that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And bad research in this area has been funded before.

                    • (Score: 4, Touché) by aristarchus on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:07PM (9 children)

                      by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:07PM (#635126) Journal

                      Obvious rebuttal: khallow, you're doing it again! You have had your ass handed to you. You have lost this debate. Answer the nice Soylentil's question, and show the data and the skew, or please stop.

                      --
                      You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
                      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:31PM

                        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:31PM (#635179) Journal

                        Spoiler alert: he ain't gonna. The guy's so far out of his depth it's anyone's guess as to whether drowning, barotrauma, or one of those giant fish that's 2/3 jaws will get him first.

                        --
                        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                      • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:48PM (7 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:48PM (#635263) Journal
                        Here's my rebuttal [soylentnews.org] to this whole mess. TL;DR is that the researchers used methods with serious problems, have conflicts of interest, and present their research in a very partisan way yet I need to show "evidence" that the research is flawed for free.
                        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:04PM (5 children)

                          by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:04PM (#635267) Journal

                          Shut up, khallow. Listen to much wiser men who have gone before you.

                          "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

                          Laplace [rationalwiki.org]

                          You have only asserted these things, due to a delusional mind. None of them are true. You just believe them. The rest of Soyentildom has grown tired of your constant ideological foaming at the mouth. Pay up, or shut up.

                          --
                          You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:40PM (4 children)

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:40PM (#635283) Journal

                            You have only asserted these things, due to a delusional mind.

                            Rather than be an idiot, read my post that I linked. There's a reason I didn't make a substantial reply in my previous post.

                            None of them are true.

                            "None"? I bet my assertions about the funding for the group behind this research has a greater likelihood of being true than that assertion does.

                            You just believe them. The rest of Soyentildom has grown tired of your constant ideological foaming at the mouth. Pay up, or shut up.

                            I like this more assertive aristarchus. Now, just think on top of that. You should be doing pretty well, if you can manage that.

                            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Friday February 09 2018, @12:01AM (3 children)

                              by aristarchus (2645) on Friday February 09 2018, @12:01AM (#635296) Journal

                              I bet my assertions about the funding for the group behind this research has a greater likelihood of being true than that assertion does.

                              Bet it doesn't! Yeah, where does that leave us? You are not helping your case, khallow. We are all pulling for you, and trying to get you to realize that you are just embarrassing yourself. You have nothing but conservative conspiracy wishful thinking behind your accusations, made obvious by your refusal to provide even the slightest evidence for them. So my dear and fluffy khallow, please desist before you make an even bigger ass out of yourself.

                              --
                              You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
                              • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by khallow on Friday February 09 2018, @12:25AM (2 children)

                                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @12:25AM (#635308) Journal

                                Bet it doesn't!

                                Source is here [europa.eu]. Did make a whoops. It was Euros not British pounds. That'll save some money (Pound is about 14% more than the Euro).

                                You have nothing but conservative conspiracy wishful thinking behind your accusations, made obvious by your refusal to provide even the slightest evidence for them.

                                Fortunately, one can read my posts and see for themselves. I suggest instead of continuing this vapid assault, you just read my most substantial criticism [soylentnews.org] of the research. I recognize most of my writing was not very informative or well thought out with some error, but that post is my best argument to date.

                                • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @12:57AM (1 child)

                                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @12:57AM (#635322)

                                  OMG get these commie bastards out of here, how dare SN publish an article funded by CORDIS!!!

                                  CORDIS is the Community Research and Development Information Service.

                                  It is the European Commission's primary public repository and portal to disseminate information on all EU-funded research projects and their results in the broadest sense.

                                  The website and repository include all public information held by the Commission (project factsheets, publishable reports and deliverables), editorial content to support communication and exploitation (news, events, success stories, magazines, multilingual "results in brief" for the broader public) and comprehensive links to external sources such as open access publications and websites.

                                  Such a bastion of liberal horror! /s

                                  While I do think the study needs to be taken with a big grain of salt your accusations are pretty baseless and obviously a result of being triggered by this topic. QED? lol

                                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday February 13 2018, @02:08AM

                                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13 2018, @02:08AM (#636937) Journal
                                    The obvious rebuttal is that the EU's very existence is at stake and they are funding research which suspiciously smells like propaganda to defend themselves.

                                    Brexit took away an important member of the EU. Far right groups are throughout the EU (with the potential to cause either breakups of existing states or additional Brexit votes. Meanwhile on the US side, the Trump election gave many of those European far right groups credibility. Now, we see the EU funding research which portrays the alt-right (the US flavor of the far right) as a bunch of gullible dupes. What a coincidence!

                                    Needless to say, I don't buy that this is a coincidence, but rather part of some overall strategy for discrediting political threats to the EU.
                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @06:25PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @06:25PM (#635631)

                          Here's my rebuttal [urbandictionary.com] to all of you! Jolly good show!

                          I cannot believe the mods went for it... Sad!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:13PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:13PM (#634923)

            Oh, no! The mothership seriously cut khallows funding! It asks now more trolling for the same money!
            Expect an increased activity.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @04:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @04:18AM (#635382)

      Those 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? A review found them all flawed [qz.com]

      according to a review published in [springer.com] the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology[,] The researchers tried to replicate the results of those 3% of papers--a common way to test scientific studies--and found biased, faulty results.

      Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, worked with a team of researchers to look at the 38 papers published in peer-reviewed journals in the last decade that denied anthropogenic global warming.

      "Every single one of those analyses had an error--in their assumptions, methodology, or analysis--that, when corrected, brought their results into line with the scientific consensus"

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:32PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:32PM (#634895) Journal

    If you use my extension you want to select each paragraph and hit "Despace" (next time).

    STUDY SAMPLE AND METHOD

    For this study, a seed of known propaganda websites across the political spectrum was used, drawing from a sample of 22,117,221 tweets collected during the US election, between November 1-11, 2016. (The full seed list is in the online supplement and available as a standalone spreadsheet.) We identified sources of junk news and information, based on a grounded typology. Sources of junk news deliberately publish misleading, deceptive or incorrect information purporting to be real news about politics, economics or culture. This content includes various forms of extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked commentary, fake news and other forms of junk news. For a source to be labeled as junk news it must fall in at least three of the following five domains:

    • Professionalism: These outlets do not employ the standards and best practices of professional journalism. They refrain from providing clear information about real authors, editors, publishers and owners. They lack transparency, accountability, and do not publish corrections on debunked information.

    • Style: These outlets use emotionally driven language with emotive expressions, hyperbole, ad hominem attacks, misleading headlines, excessive capitalization, unsafe generalizations and fallacies, moving images, graphic pictures and mobilizing memes.

    • Credibility: These outlets rely on false information and conspiracy theories, which they often employ strategically. They report without consulting multiple sources and do not employ fact-checking methods. Their sources are often untrustworthy and their standards of news production lack credibility.

    • Bias: Reporting in these outlets is highly biased and ideologically skewed, which is otherwise described as hyper-partisan reporting. These outlets frequently present opinion and commentary essays as news.

    • Counterfeit: These outlets mimic professional news media. They counterfeit fonts, branding and stylistic content strategies. Commentary and junk content is stylistically disguised as news, with references to news agencies, and credible sources, and headlines written in a news tone, with bylines, date, time and location stamps.

    Sources of junk news were evaluated and reevaluated in a rigorously iterative coding process. A team of 12 trained coders, familiar with the US political and media landscape, labeled sources of news and information based on a grounded typology. The Krippendorff’s alpha value for inter-coder reliability among three executive coders, who developed the grounded typology, was 0.805. The 91 sources of political news and information, which we identified over the course of several years of research and monitoring, produce content that includes various forms of propaganda and ideologically extreme, hyper-partisan, and conspiratorial political information. We tracked how the URLs to these websites were being shared over Twitter and Facebook (see online supplement for details)

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 0, Troll) by VLM on Thursday February 08 2018, @03:52PM (8 children)

    by VLM (445) on Thursday February 08 2018, @03:52PM (#634963)

    They're basically describing the NYT and CNN without calling out by name, aren't they?

    Sure, nicely defined set of pattern matching rules, but don't forget the implied suffix, well, obviously excluding our political friends at X Y and Z.

    There's also chronological issues. Maybe I'm late to the party, but I remember the BBC "in the old days" was the bastion of real journalism to the world, and then in the brexit and scottish independence voting they went full on propaganda lie mode, and I'm like "WTF BBC?". So sure, I'll agree, maybe the NYT in 1955 or 1975 was respectable, but its a laughingstock today.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:11PM

      by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:11PM (#634975) Homepage Journal

      They're basically describing the NYT and CNN without calling out by name, aren't they?

      Actually, they do name names. Not only do they name names, they provide details as to how they arrived at that list of names.

      Don't believe me. Look at their data:
      http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/93/2018/02/Polarization-Partisanship-JunkNews-OnlineSupplement.pdf [ox.ac.uk]

      But you don't care about data and evidence do you? You're right and anyone who disagrees is wrong, isn't that it?

      Science doesn't care what you, I, or anyone else thinks. When done properly, the data speaks for itself.

      But please, don't let that stop you. We all get a nice chuckle when you blather on. As such, by all means carry on.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 2, Redundant) by FatPhil on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:27PM (3 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:27PM (#634988) Homepage
      BBC went, for me, full fake news bullshit on the day we joined the US in its illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. It pushed the government lies so hard down your neck that I was involuntarily shitting them at the same time.

      Others have opined that their coverage of Ireland way back during The Troubles was equally flawed. I cannot comment, as I was too young, naive, and isolated from the reality of the situation back then to be able to detect propaganda. I have no hesitation to repeat their opinions neutrally herein, to save them the effort, they are as believable as the news reports we got on the mainland.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2, Redundant) by DeathMonkey on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:21PM (2 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:21PM (#635037) Journal

        Accurately reporting what the administration was saying at the time is not Fake News.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by canopic jug on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:07PM

          by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:07PM (#635127) Journal

          Only if they call out the lies, especially the blatant ones, while doing so. Otherwise they are just a conduit and not a news service.

          --
          Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday February 09 2018, @08:39AM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Friday February 09 2018, @08:39AM (#635446) Homepage
          If you cannot tell the difference between "A government report says 'something blatantly false'" and "Something blatantly false", congratulations, you're one of the sheeple.
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:23PM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:23PM (#635041)

      The NYT and CNN are interesting cases, because they have an absolutely overwhelming bias, but that overwhelming bias isn't left or right, it's pro-establishment - i.e. pro-rich and pro-powerful.

      The strongest example of this in action that I can think of is that when the NYT got a story that George W Bush had authorized NSA eavesdropping on Americans in December 2003. The first thing they did with it was to run it by the Bush administration before even thinking about publishing it. The Bush administration asked them to wait 1 year before publishing, which would conveniently mean that the story was unknown while the presidential election was going on. The NYT happily complied with the request, even though they were very publicly pulling for John Kerry in that upcoming election.

      And you'll notice something else if you watch news on CNN: Wolf Blitzer in particular pretty much never questions any report from anybody in any presidential administration. Even if it's complete nonsense. And it doesn't matter which party you're talking about.

      That's of course different from other organizations' biases. For instance, Fox News is basically the propaganda outlet of the Republican Party, and therefor everything that mainstream Republicans do is good, and everything Democrats do is bad. Meanwhile, MSNBC is basically the propaganda outlet of the Democratic Party, and therefor everything that mainstream Democrats do is good, and everything Republicans do is bad. However, and this is important, anything that anyone does that furthers the goals of neither the mainstream Democrats nor the mainstream Republicans is either not newsworthy or downright evil from the point of view of both of them.

      None of this is anything new, but an argument put forth many times, most famously in Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman's Manufacturing Consent.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2) by Kilo110 on Friday February 09 2018, @02:48PM

        by Kilo110 (2853) on Friday February 09 2018, @02:48PM (#635513)

        The strongest example of this in action that I can think of is that when the NYT got a story that George W Bush had authorized NSA eavesdropping on Americans in December 2003. The first thing they did with it was to run it by the Bush administration before even thinking about publishing it. The Bush administration asked them to wait 1 year before publishing

        There's actually an interesting 'dance' that happens whenever a news organization finds out about these types of top-secret things. They always approach the agency in question to discuss it. Since we have freedom of the press in this country, the Gov can't flat out tell them not to publish it, so instead they sit the reporter or editor down and explain to them why it's important to delay/redact/drop the article in question. These talks are very serious and the Gov will often lay down their cards on the table to best make their case. The newspaper then decides what to do, and often they end up yielding on one aspect or another.

        I learned of this process from an interview with a reporter of one of the major newspapers. It may have been the NYT actually.

    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:33PM

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:33PM (#635180) Journal

      Read the actual material before you shoot your stupid flapping foodsucker off, will you? As you are acting now, you actually have a negative signal to noise ratio, in that any thread you post in automatically becomes dumber and more obfuscated.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by slinches on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:08PM (2 children)

    by slinches (5049) on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:08PM (#635026)

    Have you looked at the list of "Junk News" sites they listed? They were obviously cherry picked to generate the desired results. Why is a site like Breitbart on there while none of the progressive/liberal propaganda sites like Vox, Mother Jones, MoveOn.org, etc. are?

     
    If this is a study at all, it isn't studying what it appears to. It's from the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford and this is their stated purpose in the about section of their page:

    The Computational Propaganda Research Project (COMPROP) investigates the interaction of algorithms, automation and politics. This work includes analysis of how tools like social media bots are used to manipulate public opinion by amplifying or repressing political content, disinformation, hate speech, and junk news.

    We use perspectives from organizational sociology, human computer interaction, communication, information science, and political science to interpret and analyze the evidence we are gathering. Our project is based at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

    Note that they don't state that they are seeking solutions to stop the manipulation of public opinion and spread of propaganda, just study it. And what better way to study the effects than by creating the propaganda yourself and watching how it gets distributed? There's only so much you can do watching how other people's content is distributed because you don't know how deceptive tactics could be hidden in the methodology or in manipulation of the data or if the results are accurate, but just unexpected. Put those inaccuracies in yourself and then you know conclusively that it's fake and how transparent the attempt at deception is.

    • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:09PM (1 child)

      by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:09PM (#635232) Homepage Journal

      Have you looked at the list of "Junk News" sites they listed? They were obviously cherry picked to generate the desired results. Why is a site like Breitbart on there while none of the progressive/liberal propaganda sites like Vox, Mother Jones, MoveOn.org, etc. are?

      Since you obiously didn't read it the first time, I'm not sure why you'd do so now. I'll take the chance, but I won't hold my breath:

      STUDY SAMPLE AND METHOD

      For this study, a seed of known propaganda websites across the political spectrum was used, drawing from a sample of 22,117,221 tweets collected during the US election, between November 1-11, 2016. (The full seed list is in the online supplement and available as a standalone spreadsheet.) We identified sources of junk news and information, based on a grounded typology. Sources of junk news deliberately publish misleading, deceptive or incorrect information purporting to be real news about politics, economics or culture. This content includes various forms of extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked commentary, fake news and other forms of junk news. For a source to be labeled as junk news it must fall in at least three of the following five domains:

      • Professionalism: These outlets do not employ the standards and best practices of professional journalism. They refrain from providing clear information about real authors, editors, publishers and owners. They lack transparency, accountability, and do not publish corrections on debunked information.

      • Style: These outlets use emotionally driven language with emotive expressions, hyperbole, ad hominem attacks, misleading headlines, excessive capitalization, unsafe generalizations and fallacies, moving images, graphic pictures and mobilizing memes.

      • Credibility: These outlets rely on false information and conspiracy theories, which they often employ strategically. They report without consulting multiple sources and do not employ fact-checking methods. Their sources are often untrustworthy and their standards of news production lack credibility.

      • Bias: Reporting in these outlets is highly biased and ideologically skewed, which is otherwise described as hyper-partisan reporting. These outlets frequently present opinion and commentary essays as news.

      • Counterfeit: These outlets mimic professional news media. They counterfeit fonts, branding and stylistic content strategies. Commentary and junk content is stylistically disguised as news, with references to news agencies, and credible sources, and headlines written in a news tone, with bylines, date, time and location stamps.

      Sources of junk news were evaluated and reevaluated in a rigorously iterative coding process. A team of 12 trained coders, familiar with the US political and media landscape, labeled sources of news and information based on a grounded typology. The Krippendorff’s alpha value for inter-coder reliability among three executive coders, who developed the grounded typology, was 0.805. The 91 sources of political news and information, which we identified over the course of several years of research and monitoring, produce content that includes various forms of propaganda and ideologically extreme, hyper-partisan, and conspiratorial political information. We tracked how the URLs to these websites were being shared over Twitter and Facebook (see online supplement for details)

      You impute bias to the sites you mention. Into which other two domains do they fit as well?

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 2) by slinches on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:36PM

        by slinches (5049) on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:36PM (#635253)

        I did read the methodology and reviewed the list of sources. The sites I mentioned certainly fall under the Bias, Professionalism and Style categories and could arguably fail in Credibility as well.

         

  • (Score: 2) by melikamp on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:34PM

    by melikamp (1886) on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:34PM (#635146) Journal
    Hehehe thanks for that! This actually looks like OK methodology. And OMG can you believe Donnie's ardent supporters, most of them superstitious bigots, would be more prone to spreading this garbage over the social media?
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:36AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:36AM (#635340)

    Suppose they had actually applied those 5 tests to CNN. Remember, only 3 of 5 are required. OK...

    Professionalism at CNN, just today:
    https://i.redd.it/ucwfu27sp0f01.png [i.redd.it]

    Style at CNN:
    The first thing that pops into my mind to satisfy the "emotionally driven language with emotive expressions" requirement is how Trump's speech got categorized as "dark". Really, WTF? Dark???

    Credibility at CNN:
    That time Trump fed fish with the Japanese prime minister, CNN tried to make it look like Trump was rude. CNN showed the Japanese prime minister feeding with a spoon, then showed Trump dumping his box of food. In reality, both fed with spoons, and then the prime minister dumped first.

    Bias at CNN:
    Well yeah... about 95% of the Trump coverage is clearly negative.

    Counterfeit at CNN:
    I think it meets the standard of "junk content is stylistically disguised as news". All of the Trump-Russia stuff was pure junk.

    So clearly CNN qualifies. They were not in the list. If you share CNN, you are sharing fake news.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NotSanguine on Friday February 09 2018, @01:58AM (1 child)

      You do realize that the study was focused on Social Media, right? Specifically Twitter and Facebook.

      What's more, the study focused not on the specific outlets, but who was sharing them.

      I have no axe to grind either way. In fact, I began the post to which you replied by saying that I wasn't making *any* judgements about the study itself.

      If you (and so many others) have an issue with the study, take it up with the authors of the study. Which doesn't include me.

      If you go back and read what I *actually* wrote:

      It's pretty easy to just dismiss this without knowing anything about the study. I think it useful to at least look at the sampling and methodology before accepting or rejecting it. Of course, that's too much work if your biases cause you to simply accept or reject the research without understanding what was actually done (the TFS certainly doesn't give much information about that).

      I'm sick of this "discussion" which pretty much adds up to a bunch of people telling *me* that somehow I'm wrong for suggesting they apply a little bit of the old scientific method.

      I'm done. Go play in traffic or something, kid.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @06:46AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @06:46AM (#635422)

        The sites matter.

        The way they were chosen was clearly biased. I suspect the bias comes from the selection of who gets to be on their little committee. They picked a bunch of people at a liberal university in the UK. They did not pick people who support UKIP or BNP (the brexit fans) in the rural part of the UK, and they certainly did not go any where near Trump country.

        Let me choose the committee, and the selected sites will be different. We'd find that fake news is almost exclusively shared on Social Media (specifically Twitter and Facebook) by liberals.