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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.

[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 edIII on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:23PM (6 children)

    by edIII (791) on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:23PM (#635173)

    Bullshit. Fake News is incredibly easy to define. It is news that was fabricated as to have the imprimatur of MSM (hold the laughter please), for a specific purpose, and delivered to a specific audience. When Russia was paying Facebook via its troll network, they were posting lies and propaganda, but doing so as to appear from legitimate trusted sources of news. Hence, it was news that was faked.

    This is not something you can pull that both sides crap on. The majority of fake news was heavily slanted towards making Orange Anus look electable, and Hillary to look worse than she already does. Although I will admit, that is not from first hand experiences. I watch no advertisements of any kind, and I have ZERO presence within social media (no this site isn't social media). So what would I know about fake news other than the cerebral discussions about it. Fake News does not make its way here though, and I largely attribute that to our great group of editors.

    Most people aren't getting their news anymore from the major so-called trusted outlets of news, but are getting it from each other on social media. Whoever sounds the best and loudest, gets promulgated further throughout those networks pushing the lies.

    Now, when somebody says Fake News, 99% of the time they're full of fucking shit. It's become a retort when you don't like the truth coming to the surface. Don't attack the truth with reason, logic, or well founded positions based on sound principles, but simply loudly claim it was faked news. That's Orange Anus's favorite move. Deny, Deny, Deny, Deny, and when the truth is plain for all to see, simply deny reality in its entirety and scream "fake news".

    It's funny how people didn't like Orange Anus being compared to Hitler, but Hitler attacked the press in much the same ways.

    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    Starting Score:    1  point
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       Insightful=3, Informative=2, Overrated=1, Total=6
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
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    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:29PM

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:29PM (#635176) Journal

    Preach it, brother. The Trump types project like a mile of movie theaters, thinking if they accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of, it somehow absolves them. It's cowardly, hypocritical, and amoral, not even immoral. But they, of course *being* immoral, don't give a shit.

    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Unixnut on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:54PM

    by Unixnut (5779) on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:54PM (#635190)

    Truth to be honest, I don't actually care. I'm not American, and I don't support either side of the same turd coin that the majority of you seem to cheer for.

    However, due to the size and capacity of the USA, and their global reach (and because every single Tech site in English seems to have a selection of Americans willing to rant about it), I can't help but get constant "Fake news" information from basically both sides of the coin. And it is always the same crap:

    News item: "Trump gets pissed on by prostitutes/Colluded with Russians/Stole election"
    R's: "Fake News"
    D's: "Gospel Truth"

    News item: "Hillary colluded with Russians for uranium/tried to steal election/$some_reason, etc..."
    R's: "Gospel Truth"
    D's: "Fake News"

    And so on and so on. Every single piece of news is either "Gospel Truth" or "Fake news". There is no way to actually have a reasoned debate about it.

    "Fake News" has just become a moniker, yet another way to divide Americans bitterly. Just look at the responses on the site. I imagine some posters were literally foaming at the mouth as they typed their retorts.

    And like you nicely put, it has been devalued to the point of meaningless. Anyone can define "fake news" just like they can define "hate speech". It is a very dangerous precedent, that people seem to be missing in their strong urge to beat upon "the other side".

    Sure, you can claim it once had a clearly defined meaning (just like "hate speech" did), but as always in politics, its get redefined, and twisted and turned to suit the purposes of whoever is using it.

    If "fake news" was just limited to the USA, I might not even care that much, however now my local politicians have taken to defining news which they disapprove of as "fake news", which really complicates the ability to have a reasoned debate. Plus you can't accuse them of stifling the opposition/alternative viewpoints because they just point to that "Bastion of Free speech"/"Leader of the free world", the USA, so if the US can do it, so can they.

    How do you debate with someone whose starting argument is that everything you say is fake, and therefore not worth responding to? For many, the result is to just declare that the other sides news is also "fake", and then you get a societal split with two echo chambers self reinforcing their reality.

    Not to mention this has got two sides of America locked in an increasingly bitter (and violent) conflict, while your country is degrading, the economy is going to shit, and we are teetering on the edge of possibly another big war in the middle east that could escalate quickly into a global confrontation.

    Talk about a case of a population wide "missing the forest for the trees".

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by digitalaudiorock on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:21PM (1 child)

    by digitalaudiorock (688) on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:21PM (#635211) Journal

    Bullshit. Fake News is incredibly easy to define.

    Yes...despite Trump and the right trying to portray a slight slant to the left as equivalent to fucking #Pizzagate. Give me a fucking break with that.

  • (Score: 3, Offtopic) by hemocyanin on Friday February 09 2018, @06:12AM (1 child)

    by hemocyanin (186) on Friday February 09 2018, @06:12AM (#635408) Journal

    Hillary voted for the Iraq war with enthusiasm: []

    Her only beef with GWB, at 13:29: "Here at home, this administration is bankrupting our economy forcing us to make the worst kids of false choices between national and homeland security, which they don't fund."

    In other words -- raise taxes to fund more wars and domestic surveillance.

    That's all fact -- her own damn words.

    You don't get to make a "mistake" like HRC did on Iraq, and say "oopsie". She was, is, and will always be, an evil murderous cretin who deserved to lose. And losing to Trump? That's just fucking icing on the cake - seriously, how incompetent do you have to be? Talk about a slap across the face, she can now go shrivel up in shame and leave the world a better place.

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday February 09 2018, @07:55PM

      by edIII (791) on Friday February 09 2018, @07:55PM (#635673)

      Is this a segue-way to a different conversation? :)

      I was on the Hillary hating bandwagon before 2000. It was shortly after she made such a fuss about health care, and then basically did a 180, started taking money from the opposition to entertain them at dinner. To make it clear, for me, that's like Luke Skywalker giving multiple hour long speeches to young Rebels, then turning about and asking the Emperor if wants another mimosa before going down on him. Maybe I was unfair at the time, but her subsequent actions showed that she really did start blowing the 1%. She's a darling of the "Left", but is nothing more than an Establishment Democrat with Corporate handlers.

      So yeah, I said Hillary was being made to look worse than she already did. They needed to go so far as to make her a vampiric kiddie fucker with basement operations under various pizza establishments, one in particular. That's some pretty spectacular Fake News, exceeded only its ridiculousness, by the gullibility of those that found it true.

      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.