A number of establishment media outlets have sounded the alarm over “fake news” spreading in swing states in the month before the election, insinuating that Donald Trump’s win was a result of Russian misinformation efforts.
The only problem: A review of the report the media is relying on shows their conclusion is not accurate.
CNN reported that fake news on Twitter was higher in swing states. The report was accompanied by the chyron, “How ‘Fake News’ Spread During Election Week.”
The study CNN cited comes from the Oxford Internet Institute, titled, “Social Media, News and Political Information during the US Election: Was Polarizing Content Concentrated in Swing States?”
The study’s authors’ do not, however, label their study as necessarily being about “fake news.” Instead, the researchers use the term “junk news.”
The bulk of “Polarizing and Conspiracy Content” comes from so-called “junk news” websites, which makes up 79 percent of the content.
The study does, however, deliberately classify a number of websites as producing “junk news” that are relatively mainstream conservative news outlets — not “fake news.”
One of the study’s researchers with the Oxford Internet Institute told The Daily Caller via email that, “A couple of junk news sites we found to be frequently shared in the US were Infowars, Breitbart, The Washington Examiner, and truthfeed.com.”