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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, 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.

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  • (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.