Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | Media Bias | fake | news | Facebook

Fake News Trumps Real News in Facebook Traffic Report

Image: Fake News Trumps Real News in Facebook Traffic Report

Hillary Clinton (AP Photo/John Raoux)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Nov 2016 07:50 PM

Fake election news got more Facebook hits than the top stories from major news outlets during the final three months of the presidential race, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday.

According to the news outlet's analysis, 20 top-performing false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated 8,711,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.

During the same period, the 20 best-performing election stories from 19 major news websites generated a total of 7,367,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook, the analysis found.

BuzzFeed News reported the major outlets had the most activity on Facebook before the race's last three months – but got swamped by fake news as Election Day neared.

According to the analysis:

  • Of the 20 top-performing false election stories, all but three were overtly pro-Donald Trump or anti-Hillary Clinton.
  • Two of the biggest false hits were a story claiming Clinton sold weapons to ISIS, and a hoax claiming the pope endorsed Trump.
  • The biggest mainstream hit in the three months before the election came from the Washington Post, and "Ending the Fed," a site launched just months earlier with no history on Facebook, which got more engagement for a false story during the same period.

A Facebook spokesman countered top stories do not really reflect "overall engagement."

"There is a long tail of stories on Facebook," the spokesman told BuzzFeed News. "It may seem like the top stories get a lot of traction, but they represent a tiny fraction of the total."

But an unnamed Facebook manager told BuzzFeed News: "People know there are concerned employees who are seeing something here which they consider a big problem."

"And it doesn't feel like the people making decisions are taking the concerns seriously."

The analysis comes in the wake of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's insistence it was "a pretty crazy idea" to suggest fake news on the social media site could sway the election.

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Fake election news got more Facebook hits than the top stories from major news outlets during the final three months of the presidential race, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday.
fake, news, Facebook, traffic, analysis
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2016-50-16
Wednesday, 16 Nov 2016 07:50 PM
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