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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: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:08PM (5 children)

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:08PM (#635271)

    Get a Facebook account and see what "news" is shared continually. Sure there's some leftist fake news, but the vast majority shared is spread by right wingers who obviously make zero effort to fact check their "news". Most is obviously fake to anyone with a scrap of judgement, but it got Donald Trump elected.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:21PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:21PM (#635280)

    Get a Facebook account

    What??? What the fuck you say?

    Facebook is a self selecting sample of people with low IQ and poor self esteem but the paper does not say "stupid people share fake news". To prove political leaning, you must first prove Democrat voters on Facebook were not too busy drooling out of the corner of their mouths [imgur.com] to interact with the website. This is highly unlikely.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @07:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @07:11AM (#635431)

      but the paper does not say "stupid people share fake news".

      Um, actually? It does.

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:41PM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:41PM (#635285) Journal

    Get a Facebook account and see what "news" is shared continually.

    I'm not touching Facebook.

    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Monday February 12 2018, @10:40PM (1 child)

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday February 12 2018, @10:40PM (#636857)

      Yet you feel compelled to comment on a topic based on social media posts.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday February 13 2018, @01:52AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 13 2018, @01:52AM (#636929) Journal

        Yet you feel compelled to comment on a topic based on social media posts.

        What is that supposed to mean? Are you insinuating that somehow I'm unqualified to speak about social media because I'm not on Facebook?

        Let me remind you that we have plenty of news about Facebook and Twitter. I can and have surfed over to webpages which display communications from these communities. I know what I'm missing, and I don't mind missing that at all. And yes, I realize there is a lot of right-wing crap on Facebook. I don't need to be on Facebook to figure that out.

        Second, the research of this story is just the latest in a long line of official rationalizations that attempt to portray "alt-right" behavior and speech as crazy or deviant behavior. I think it is unwise to ignore both the unscientific nature of this study as well as the ulterior motives behind it.