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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: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:53PM (4 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:53PM (#635065)

    The one connection between conservatism and susceptibility to propaganda that I can think of: An essential idea of conservative ideology is that people who are in charge got that way because they are somehow smarter, more moral, harder-working, or more capable than those who are not in charge. By contrast, an essential idea of liberal ideology is that people who are in charge got that way because they are luckier, more privileged, and more criminal than those who are not in charge.

    Why does that matter?
    1. The people who are currently powerful do better if people think they're in charge because they're better at running things. So that makes them on average more likely to fund conservative propaganda than liberal propaganda.

    2. If you show a conservative a wealthy privileged person in a nice suit saying something on the TV, the conservative reaction is along the lines of "Hmm, that obviously smart and successful person said something, so it must be true." By contrast, the liberal reaction is something along the lines of "That rich guy said something, it must be malarkey trying to trick us into making him richer or more powerful." That drives what sort of outlets get created and who gets listened to: Conservative propaganda outlets typically use glitz and glamour, liberal propaganda outlets use low-budget productions with dirt and people in everyday outfits.

    3. Conservative propaganda outlets also have an easier time maintaining themselves as organizations, because liberal propaganda outlets become less credible as they get better funding and name recognition. Again, because liberals start becoming suspicious of people with "privilege", and somebody like, say, HuffPo, steadily loses attention and credibility as it becomes richer and more powerful, whereas for something like InfoWars the opposite is true.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:25PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:25PM (#635090)

    Dude that is messed up

    i vote for people that seem to demonstrate they are not being dicks, understand local politics as necessary and big issue concerns, and that do not vote the party line because someone else somewhere else said they had to do something or they won't get funding. at least that's how i try to discern who's a dick or not, and i might not always get it right.

    just because you see illinois or something being a state with a big city that seems to be led by a current generation of gangsters does not a political party make. i am not even sure what other criminal states you are talking about. new jersy would work except isn't that disappointed guy working for trump the governor there?

    that doesnt matter because there are plenty of completely ineffective democrats elsewhere that couldn't get themselves out of a parking ticket and didn't get their position via being a crook. we have nixon to thank for scaring most of them away from that.

    your list is written as if it's a conservative perspective of how things work.

    i dont vote based on how rich or good looking someone is--i vote based on what they say, like "we believe we can create jobs by increasing pollution so that the janitors can be outsourced to another company to control costs and contribute to the gig economy by allowing a just-in-time cleanup effort by assigning people to clean coal smoke out of the air without resorting to job killing regulations. people can welcome the opportunity to drink bottled water available at a walmart in bulk packages thanks to our new monolopy distribution program of single sourced vendors. *water is bottled at the source, 'Coal Springs', after first being run through for treatment at the power plant; extra minerals included for free!"

        If they say that, I won't vote for them -- whether they are republican or democrat

    you seem to think its a popularity contest of the richest person with the best propaganda. no, people vote pretty much based on their jobs, their health, and their fears.

    can you explain to me how intelligent people vote?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:23AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:23AM (#635335)

      As with all generalizations they fail to apply to every group. In general most conservatives will not think past the bullshit the guy in a suit spews. More jobs? We'll get more money? Done.

      No politician points out the horrible shit their policies will result in, so you must have a clue to weed them out. Good for you if you truly do see through the bullshit and only vote for decent politicians.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @07:08AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @07:08AM (#635429)

        In general most conservatives will not think

        That is enough.

  • (Score: 2) by digitalaudiorock on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:43PM

    by digitalaudiorock (688) on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:43PM (#635222)

    The one connection between conservatism and susceptibility to propaganda that I can think of: An essential idea of conservative ideology is that people who are in charge got that way because they are somehow smarter, more moral, harder-working, or more capable than those who are not in charge.

    Exactly. The other night I was watching a new PBS American Experience about the Gilded Age. It was hard not to notice how many people these days buy into the exact same social Darwinist ideologies as did Andrew Carnegie back then...despite the fact that the list of richest Americans is full of people who've done nothing beyond having the right parents! Insane.