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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: 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.

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  • (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...