The presidential election proved to be fertile ground for the growth of fake news stories. As people became annoyed by tall tales such as “Pope Francis Endorses Donald Trump for President” popping up in their Facebook feeds, the mainstream media decided it was time to fight back. As calls for action from Facebook grew louder, Buzzfeed released a bombshell report: Fake news outperformed real news on Facebook in the final months of the election. This was then widely taken as fact, but it turned out to be, well, untrue.
As Tim Carney reports at the Washington Examiner, Buzzfeed’s research methodology was a mess:
The BuzzFeed study looked only at the top 20 election stories, in terms of engagement, by fake websites and compared it to the top 20 election stories from a tiny list of mainstream sites. The list included left-leaning opinion-heavy outlets like Huffington Post and Vox. . . .
So the “Real News” numbers are from an incomplete, odd, and unexplained subsample of the media.
Read more at NationalReview.com…
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