Fake news was a huge topic during the election and afterward. The media and democrats portrayed it as something that hurt Hillary Clinton’s election chances.
A new study from Stanford blows that theory to hell.
That article that Wikileaks linked to is a synopsis of the study. I went straight to the source and found the abstract which is clear:
We present new evidence on the role of false stories circulated on social media prior to the 2016 US presidential election. Drawing on audience data, archives of fact-checking websites, and results from a new online survey, we find: (i) social media was an important but not dominant source of news in the run-up to the election, with 14 percent of Americans calling social media their “most important” source of election news; (ii) of the known false news stories that appeared in the three months before the election, those favoring Trump were shared a total of 30 million times on Facebook, while those favoring Clinton were shared eight million times; (iii) the average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories, with just over half of those who recalled seeing fake news stories believing them; (iv) for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads.
The “fake news” actually favored Clinton for many reasons but the most important in my opinion is that Trump’s fake news (fake stories about Trump) were likely to be shared more by a factor of 5.
So the next time someone says fake news to you, show them this study. It’ll stop them in their tracks.