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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: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:05PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:05PM (#635230)

    The authors of the paper have their own definition of fake news (they prefer the term "junk news"), starting on page 2 of their paper [ox.ac.uk], which is really very clear:

    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.

    It does not seem to coincide with the definition which you have decided to use. Not even close. There is nothing about party distinctions in the definition, and it could just as easily apply to the left wing as well as the right wing. However, this thing in their definition about "misleading, deceptive or incorrect information" depends upon a stubborn thing called "objective reality", and if you're not one of those people who believes such a thing exists, then well, it's not going to make any sense at all.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:32PM (#635246)

    deliberately publish

    Pffft! [google.com]