Tags: Media Bias | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | twitter | fake news | tweets

Oxford Study: Twitter a Hotbed for 'Junk News Sources' in '16

Image: Oxford Study: Twitter a Hotbed for 'Junk News Sources' in '16
(Lauren Hurley/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 28 Sep 2017 07:32 PM

Divisive conspiratorial content and inaccurate "junk news" flooded Twitter during the 2016 presidential race, researchers found — especially in swing states like New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

In an Oxford University study of more than 22 million tweets, researchers revealed voters shared large amounts of content linked to Russia, Wikileaks, and other "junk news sources" with the help of bots — automated Twitter accounts.

Researchers also discovered the greatest concentrations of misinformation happened in swing states — 12 of 16 of those states, seen as crucial in every presidential election, had higher levels of dubious content than the national average in 2016. The southeastern United States also registered higher-than-average misinformation.

The study, conducted by researchers at Oxford's Computation Propaganda Project, tried to focus on U.S. political conversations on Twitter at a few major moments: The presidential debates as well as the 10 days before the election, Recode reported.

They included only tweets from profiles that contained location information, a link and an election-related hashtag, about 1.2 million tweets in all, the online site reported.

The findings were released the same day Twitter announced it had hundreds of Russian-linked accounts and would ramp up enforcement of its spam rules as it probes online campaigns to influence the 2016 U.S. election.

But the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia ripped the social media platform after it shared its analysis with the committee, The Hill reported.

“Their response was frankly inadequate on almost every level," he said after the briefings.

The Senate Intelligence Committee invited Twitter, Facebook, and Google to testify over Russian election interference on their platforms at a public hearing Nov. 1.

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Divisive conspiratorial content and inaccurate "junk news" flooded Twitter during the 2016 presidential race, researchers found, especially in swing states like New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
twitter, fake news, tweets, election meddling
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2017-32-28
Thursday, 28 Sep 2017 07:32 PM
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