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.
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.
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]
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:36AM (2 children)
Suppose they had actually applied those 5 tests to CNN. Remember, only 3 of 5 are required. OK...
Professionalism at CNN, just today:
Style at CNN:
The first thing that pops into my mind to satisfy the "emotionally driven language with emotive expressions" requirement is how Trump's speech got categorized as "dark". Really, WTF? Dark???
Credibility at CNN:
That time Trump fed fish with the Japanese prime minister, CNN tried to make it look like Trump was rude. CNN showed the Japanese prime minister feeding with a spoon, then showed Trump dumping his box of food. In reality, both fed with spoons, and then the prime minister dumped first.
Bias at CNN:
Well yeah... about 95% of the Trump coverage is clearly negative.
Counterfeit at CNN:
I think it meets the standard of "junk content is stylistically disguised as news". All of the Trump-Russia stuff was pure junk.
So clearly CNN qualifies. They were not in the list. If you share CNN, you are sharing fake news.
(Score: 3, Interesting) by NotSanguine on Friday February 09 2018, @01:58AM (1 child)
You do realize that the study was focused on Social Media, right? Specifically Twitter and Facebook.
What's more, the study focused not on the specific outlets, but who was sharing them.
I have no axe to grind either way. In fact, I began the post to which you replied by saying that I wasn't making *any* judgements about the study itself.
If you (and so many others) have an issue with the study, take it up with the authors of the study. Which doesn't include me.
If you go back and read what I *actually* wrote:
I'm sick of this "discussion" which pretty much adds up to a bunch of people telling *me* that somehow I'm wrong for suggesting they apply a little bit of the old scientific method.
I'm done. Go play in traffic or something, kid.
No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
(Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @06:46AM
The sites matter.
The way they were chosen was clearly biased. I suspect the bias comes from the selection of who gets to be on their little committee. They picked a bunch of people at a liberal university in the UK. They did not pick people who support UKIP or BNP (the brexit fans) in the rural part of the UK, and they certainly did not go any where near Trump country.
Let me choose the committee, and the selected sites will be different. We'd find that fake news is almost exclusively shared on Social Media (specifically Twitter and Facebook) by liberals.