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Polarization of Fake News Infographic


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As we all know, social media is even more polarized — and polarizing — than the rest of American society. It’s where people go to rant, rave and all-caps scream about politics and the media. If not for social media, fake news would not be spreading as rapidly as it is in 2018. But not all social media accounts are equal when it comes to spreading falsehoods and creating online echo chambers.

According to a new study from the University of Oxford that looked at junk news and political polarization among groups of American Facebook and Twitter users, political conservatives are more likely to share junk news. (“Junk news,” or fake news, is defined as media that is purposely misleading, deceptive or incorrect and which aims to convince readers that it is real news.)

Published in: News & Politics
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Polarization of Fake News Infographic

  1. 1. Conservative Media 14 Democratic Party 4 Local News 3 Mainstream 6 Other 6 Party Politics 10 Progressive Movement 9 Republican Party 6 Resistance 27 Trump Support 14 14% 4% 3% 6% 6% 10% 9%6% 27% 14% ThePolarizationofFakeNews Trump Support 55% of the fake news shared in the study group came from supporters of President Trump. SOURCES "Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption over Social Media in the US," from Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project andsocialmedia'sroleinitsspread TwitterUsersByAffinityGroup 55% HowMuchFakeNewsAre TheySpreading? Conservative Media Conservative media Twitter accounts were responsible for sharing 20% of fake news followed during the study. 20% Resistance Anti-Trump "Resistance" accounts were responsible for 18% of the fake news shared during the course of the study. 18% Everyone Else The rest of the tracked groups were responsible for only 6% of the fake news, with Democratic Party and Local News accounts sharing none. 6% Conspiracy 9 Democratic Party 11 Environmental Movement 9 Hard Conservative 8 Libertarians 2 Military Guns 4 Occupy 10 Other Left 6 Other Non-Political 16 Public Health 7 Republican Party 2 Sustainable Farming 11 Women's Rights 6 9% 11% 9% 8% 2% 4%10%6% 16% 7% 2% 11% 6% FacebookUsersByAffinityGroup Hard Conservative 58% of the fake news shared on Facebook came from hard conservatives, who shared news from 91% of the fake news sites. 58% HowMuchFakeNewsAre TheySpreading? Democratic Party The second-biggest sharers of fake news on Facebook, Democratic Party accounts shared 12% of the fake news from 40% of the fake sites. 12% Occupy Facebook accounts associated with the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy movement shared 7% of the fake news seen during the course of the study. 7% Public Health The only group to NOT share fake news on Facebook were the accounts identified as belonging to public health organizations. 0%