|Weekly News Digest
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Knight Foundation Report Sheds Light on Twitter’s Fake News Problem
Knight Foundation released a report, “Disinformation, ‘Fake News’ and Influence Campaigns on Twitter,” which studies how misinformation spread during the 2016 presidential election. It looks at “more than 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 misinformation and conspiracy news outlets” to discover that there was a concentrated ecosystem of more than 6.6 million fake news tweets in the month before the election. From mid-March to mid-April 2017, there were 4 million fake news tweets.
Additional findings include the following:
- More than 80 percent of accounts that repeatedly spread misinformation during the 2016 election campaign are still active, and they continue to publish more than a million tweets on a typical day.
- Sixty-five percent of fake and conspiracy news links during the election went to just the 10 largest sites.
- Fake news sites received about 13 percent of the Twitter links that a comparison set of national news outlets did, and 37 percent of the links [were] received by a set of regional newspapers.
- While a majority of “fake news” came from pro-Republican and pro-Trump accounts in the month before the election, smaller but still substantial amounts of fake news was spread by liberal or Democratic-identified accounts. After the election period, left-leaning fake news decreased much more than right-leaning fake news.
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