Believe it or not, while fake news was more prevalent than ever during the 2016 election, it did not change the outcome, according to a new study.
In a study released on January 18, titled “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election,” NYU economics professor Hunt Allcott and Stanford economics professor Matthew Gentzkow conducted a series of tests to determine which fake news articles were being circulated, how much they were shared and viewed, and what impact they had on voters.
Allcott and Gentzkow conducted a 1,200-person post-election online survey and used previous studies and web browser data to conclude that social media was an important source of information, but it was not a dominant source of information.
Their survey found only 14 percent of Americans viewed social media as their “most important” source of election news
Allcott and Gentzkow tracked stories that were categorized as fake news by fact-checkers, and found that pro-Trump stories were shared over three times more than pro-Clinton articles. Pro-Trump stories were shared a total of 30 million times, compared to pro-Clinton articles, which were only shared a total of 7.6 million times
Nearly half of U.S. adults get news on Facebook – 62% get their news from social media, Pew says https://t.co/SM9CzYmDrb