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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, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:22PM (31 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:22PM (#634842) Journal

    https://www.google.com/search?ei=nj98WqazI9PcjwPmgb_IAg&q=is+oxford+university+liberal+or+conservative&oq=Is+oxford+a+liberal+university&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0i22i30k1.66517.78705.0.82322.52.33.1.0.0.0.563.6566.3-5j6j4.15.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..36.16.6664...0j0i13k1j0i67k1j0i131k1j0i3k1j0i10k1.0.uhRFAvU41hU [google.com]

    OK, the claim is that UK universities are neither liberal nor conservative. https://www.quora.com/Is-Oxford-university-a-liberal-institution [quora.com]

    That doesn't preclude the likelihood that some liberals at Oxford got together, and decided that "fake news is conservative".

    Maybe we should ask Hillary about fake news, when she isn't dodging sniper fire in some Eastern European country?

    --
    ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
    Starting Score:    1  point
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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:39PM (13 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:39PM (#634850) Journal

    That doesn't preclude the likelihood that some liberals at Oxford got together, and decided that "fake news is conservative".

    Letting aside your USian political spectrum is so skewed to the right that you may call all the Oxford guys even communist (when compared with your standard), my question is "Why would they do that"? Not like they stand to gain anything from it, they're not voting in US election, so why?

    Note: you know? you don't get to be an Oxford professor if you are irrational. Maybe you can afford that, they don't

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:54PM

      by NotSanguine (285) <NotSanguineNO@SPAMSoylentNews.Org> on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:54PM (#634858) Homepage Journal

      Don't mind Runaway. He gets a little testy when he doesn't get his regularly scheduled booty bump [tweaker.org].

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:58PM (9 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:58PM (#634862) Journal

      my question is "Why would they do that"?

      In other words, aside from the political bias, why would they do that? Let us also note that there is probably considerable funding in providing propaganda that shows one side of a US debate is "fake news".

      • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:02PM (4 children)

        by NotSanguine (285) <NotSanguineNO@SPAMSoylentNews.Org> on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:02PM (#634865) Homepage Journal

        In other words, aside from the political bias, why would they do that? Let us also note that there is probably considerable funding in providing propaganda that shows one side of a US debate is "fake news".

        You may be right. We're all waiting to hear back as to whether or not you can replicate the results.

        --
        No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
        • (Score: 1, Troll) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:26PM (3 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:26PM (#634888) Journal
          2 million Pounds [ox.ac.uk] over five years. I think that's reasonable for the request above.
          • (Score: 3, Touché) by NotSanguine on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:34PM (2 children)

            by NotSanguine (285) <NotSanguineNO@SPAMSoylentNews.Org> on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:34PM (#634896) Homepage Journal

            I made no assertions as to the invalidity of the results. You did.

            Either provide evidence to support those assertions or quit pretending you're doing anything other than hand waving and making unfounded claims.

            --
            No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
            • (Score: 2) by arulatas on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:59PM (1 child)

              by arulatas (3600) on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:59PM (#635162)

              I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.
              George Bernard Shaw

              --
              ----- 10 turns around
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:44PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:44PM (#635261)

                George Bernard Shaw [youtube.com] would have gassed the pigs and you may as well be quoting Hitler or Stalin.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:14PM (2 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:14PM (#634874) Journal

        In other words, aside from the political bias, why would they do that?

        .uk TLD [wikipedia.org] Are you saying that not only Russians are trying to influence US elections, but the brits too?

        TFA is a study of propaganda using social media and uses US as a subject. The author political bias is absolutely inconsequential for US politics.
        But you may be right to worry, it may throw some rocks into the propaganda machines even if not intended as such.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:29PM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:29PM (#634891) Journal
          European Union [ox.ac.uk] actually. They're the ones directly funding the organization in question. And such research can also be used to attack Brexit and other separatist outbreaks.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:21PM (#634926)

            Search for open mics in your area, I'm sure your comedy will improve if you persist enough.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:15PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:15PM (#634925)

        The butthurt is strong in this one. /Yoda

    • (Score: 1, Redundant) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:30PM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:30PM (#634893) Journal

      Why? For any number of reasons. Boredom is a possibility. A bunch of bored students sitting around, talking about the savages in the States, and their stupid elections. "Hey, let's see if all that fake news is put out by the right, or the far right, alright?" "Ha! Just as I suspected! America's right may put out fake news, but most of it is from the extreme right, or alt-right!"

      So, uhhhh - you tell us: Why did they do this study?

      --
      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:57PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:57PM (#634916) Journal

        So, uhhhh - you tell us: Why did they do this study?

        DRY [soylentnews.org]

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:49PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:49PM (#634854)

    Who decided that democrats are liberal? I mean, if you want really fake news, you couldn't start in a better place. What, "liberal" because of Kennedy? How long did that last? They shot that horse in '68. You don't go after the mob and live to tell about it.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:35PM (9 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:35PM (#634899) Journal

      We in America decided that Dems are more liberal than Reps. People in Europe tend to agree with that, while at the same time pointing out that we don't have a liberal party. We have a right and a further right party, no left party. Still, liberal is a useful term. Try to keep up.

      --
      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:52PM (4 children)

        by fritsd (4586) on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:52PM (#635010) Journal

        Actually, I like the Political Compass [politicalcompass.org]. It makes more sense to add ad dimension.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:34PM (3 children)

          by Thexalon (636) on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:34PM (#635053)

          That is certainly an improvement, but the fact of the matter is that nobody fits into a neat little box, and it often depends a lot on who's getting paid and who's doing the paying.

          For instance, everybody whose local economy does not depend on military spending is, when asked about it, likely to say something along the lines of "Grr, why should I have to pay all this money so the Air Force can get planes that don't fly, and the Army can get tanks they didn't ask for?" Whereas everybody whose local economy does depend on military spending is pretty universally in favor of it, even if they know it serves no actual government purpose but does keep themselves or their family members employed.

          In short, it's not "All politics is local" but "All politics is personal".

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:53AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:53AM (#635348)

            A great example is my dad.

            He never served in the military. He was an industrial PhD scientist who worked for food companies that were not military suppliers. He never lived in a town with a military base.

            He wants a bigger military. He has wanted more nukes since at least when he was in college in the 1960s, probably earlier. He wants more soldiers, more sailors, and more airmen. He wants bombers, submarines, and aircraft carriers. He especially wants space-based weapons and anti-ICBM systems.

            He isn't rich, but he's willing to pay. He donated over $1000 to Trump, and has spent quite a bit supporting the NRA. Although he isn't fond of taxes, he sees the military as the most important expense of the federal government.

            ...

            I'm a slightly less-good example, due to my employer selling bombs, but I didn't randomly choose my career. It's not like I would have been happy making phone apps and web pages. I love making things to harm America's enemies. Even before I got employed this way, I agreed with my dad.

            My brother is also a slightly less-good example, in his case due to a military base near his house. Thing is, he had his opinions before he moved there.

            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @05:10AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @05:10AM (#635388)

              I love making things to harm America's enemies

              USA.gov's enemies are almost exclusively of its own making.

              In 1853, USAian Commodore Perry sailed a fleet with 61 cannons into Tokyo Bay and told the Japanese in no uncertain terms that they would open themselves to trade.

              In 1896, USAian Marines invaded and occupied Hawaii and USA.gov never left.

              In 1898, yellow journalism took USA.gov into a war of Imperialism against Spain.

              WWI was a European matter. USA.gov had no business getting involved.

              ...and as soon as WWI was over, USA.gov (and a dozen other Capitalist countries) invaded the newborn USSR (and never bothered to tell USAians it was doing that).

              In the 1930s, USA.gov sent a fleet to blockade Japanese trade in the Malaccan Strait.
              Pearl Harbor was payback.

              The coup which deposed the democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953 and installed a brutal monster was directed by CIA.

              The USAian invasion and occupation of Vietnam was overt Imperialism.
              ...and USA.gov murdered civilians by the millions in that.

              ...and we could go all the way back to "the shores of Tripoli" (the Mediterranean coast of Libya, 1803) or "the halls of Montezuma" (Mexico City, 1845).

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @06:47AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @06:47AM (#635423)

                You can't help the brainwashed, those events are too far removed for them. If nothing else they wave them away with "all countries do the same shit" and therefore they might as well look out for their own.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:40PM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:40PM (#635105) Journal

        People in Europe

        Is it really that big a deal that people in Europe have a different viewpoint than people in the US, particularly, when part of the difference probably comes from people migrating from Europe to the US? For example, a lot of religious conservatives left Europe for the US in the 17th through to 19th Centuries, basically a good portion of the more extreme Protestant faiths of the time (such as Lutherans, Puritans, Quakers, Calvinists, and Anabaptists); a good portion of the people fleeing the law, tyrannical states, or personal relationships; and a heaping helping of ambitious opportunists of all stripes. That probably by itself explains the different attitudes in the US concerning religion, crime, firearm ownership, and business.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:17PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:17PM (#635276) Journal

          It is something of a deal that European are constantly reminding us that we have no "left". But, I think they err, at least to some degree. Our left is unlike their left, but our left DOES cater to the welfare masses, or at least they try hard to give that appearance. And, our right caters to the law and order crowd, or at least tries hard to appear to do so. Our left and right are quite different from the Euro left and right, but they share a lot of similarities. Immigration? Tax the rich? Benefits for the poor? There are a lot of similarities, that many Euros want to dismiss.

          --
          ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:08AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:08AM (#635329)

            Hmm, welfare masses you say? You mean all the poor conservatives that hog the majority of welfare budgets?

            Riiiight. Guess I'd better what out for those scurrry welfare queens that flaunt their degeneracy as they jaywalk in front of your car.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @03:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @03:55AM (#636254)

        We in America decided that Dems are more liberal than Reps.

        Yeah... An look what it got ya! How is it that the party of Richard Daley and George Wallace is in anyway "liberal" compared to the party that actually sent in the army to desegregate the schools and had to help vote in the voting/civil rights acts?? Who was the guy that signed the EPA and OSHA into existence? Somewhere you all got your wires crossed. You can compare republicans to democrats only in the same way you can compare virus to bacteria. One is not necessarily worse than the other, only different. I mean, like, which venereal disease would you rather have? Sorry, people who vote republican or democrat don't know fake from real, or they are looking for a piece of the action, and I sure don't sympathize with that bunch!

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheRaven on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:14PM (5 children)

    by TheRaven (270) on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:14PM (#634876) Journal

    That doesn't preclude the likelihood that some liberals at Oxford got together, and decided that "fake news is conservative".

    First, they're not saying that "fake news is conservative", they saying that when fake news is released conservatives are more likely to repeat it.

    --
    sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:35PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:35PM (#634900) Journal

      First, they're not saying that "fake news is conservative", they saying that when fake news is released conservatives are more likely to repeat it.

      Which if it were true, would be an interesting bit of weaseling since the majority of "fake news" outlets that they list are alt-right. From what I've read, it doesn't appear that they actually make that claim.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by FatPhil on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:48PM (1 child)

        by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:48PM (#635005) Homepage
        It appears you've not read the article. Or even its abstract. The whole thing is framed in terms of the *sharing*:
          "we find that the distribution of such content is unevenly spread",
          "... shares the widest range"
          "... circulates more"
          "... share the widest range"
          "... circulate more"
          "... share a wider range"
        And that's just the one-paragraph abstract.

        The "..." aren't important to refute your bizarre claim, but in case you're interested in the content of the study at all, rather than just spouting off from a position of ignorance, the Conservatives are the ones distribute the(ir) fake news more widely and more often.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:53PM (#635117)

          I think he's kind of showing himself to be the poster child for what the paper is about.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:17PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @07:17PM (#635133)

        Which if it were true, would be an interesting bit of weaseling since the majority of "fake news" outlets that they list are alt-right.

        Wow! Amazing! Why is that, do you think? Researchers go looking for "fake news", and they find it in Brietbarf and the Washington (Moonie) Times? And so they list all these far right news sources because they contain false news and right-wing nut-jobs share this false news from the false news source to other right-wing nut-jobs? Shocking! Thanks for pointing this out, khallow! I will share this with all my peeps on Gab!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:20PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:20PM (#635239)

          And this... [gop.com] this too [theintercept.com]