Sunday, May 9, 2021
Home Lead Story Reach Of "Fake News" During Elections May Not Be as Extensive as...

Reach Of “Fake News” During Elections May Not Be as Extensive as Feared, Says Research

The research, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, showed that untrustworthy websites accounted for only six per cent of all Americans' news diets on average during the period before and immediately after the U.S. presidential election

The reach of the so called “fake news” websites during elections may not be as widespread as commonly feared as researchers have found that visits to untrustworthy websites only account for a small portion of a voter’s news diet.

The research, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, showed that untrustworthy websites accounted for only six per cent of all Americans’ news diets on average during the period before and immediately after the U.S. presidential election.

Less than half of all Americans visited an untrustworthy website during the period, said the study. The Rea”These findings show why we need to measure exposure to ‘fake news’ rather than just assuming it is ubiquitous online,” said Brendan Nyhan, Professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, US.

“Online misinformation is a serious problem, but one that we can only address appropriately if we know the magnitude of the problem,” Nyhan said.

To assess the audience for “fake news,” the researchers measured visits to these dubious websites during the period before and immediately after the election using an online survey of 2,525 Americans and web traffic data collected by YouGov Pulse between October 7-November 16, 2016 from respondents’ laptops or desktop computers.

The U.S. presidential election that year was held on November 8. Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the election.

The results of the study showed that visits to dubious news sites differed sharply along ideological and partisan lines. Content from untrustworthy conservative sites accounted for nearly five per cent of people’s news diets compared to less than one per cent for untrustworthy liberal sites.

Fake, Fake News, Media, Laptop, Internet, Computer
The reach of the so called “fake news” websites during elections may not be as widespread as commonly feared as researchers have found that visits to untrustworthy websites only account for a small portion of a voter’s news diet. Pixabay

Respondents who identified themselves as Trump supporters were also more likely to visit an untrustworthy site (57 per cent) than those who indicated that they were Clinton supporters (28 per cent). The data also revealed that Facebook was the most prominent gateway to untrustworthy websites.

Respondents were more likely to have visited Facebook than Google, Twitter or a webmail platform such as Gmail in the period immediately before visiting an untrustworthy website. Finally, the study demonstrates that fact-checking websites appeared to be relatively ineffective in reaching the audiences of untrustworthy websites.

ALSO READ: 29% People in US Have an Unfavourable View of Facebook: Survey

Only 44 per cent of respondents who visited such a website also visited a fact-checking site during the study, and almost none of them had read a fact-check debunking specific claims made in a potentially questionable article. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,511FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Breathing Exercises To Strengthen Your Respiratory System

While Covid-19 cases continue to surge, we need to be even more vigilant, while staying at home and keeping ourselves healthy and fit. While...

A Makeover Guide For All Mothers Out There

For generations, mothers have been a force of nature doing the heavy lifting when it comes to raising children right; keeping them safe, and...

Covid-19 May Cause Long-Lasting Harm To Heart: Doctors

A large number of recovered patients from Covid-19 have encountered heart problems and even patients with existing heart problems have felt its effects. The...

Make Your Mom Feel Extra Special With These Gifts

Thinking about what to get your mum for Mother's Day? Check out our compilation of ideas which makes for the perfect gift for mums...

Research Reveals Why Some Patients May Test Positive For Covid-19 After Recovery

Some virus RNA can be reverse transcribed and inserted into the human genome, finds a new study, which may explain why some people who...

Life In The Clock Tower Valley: Spelling Life In Kashmir Valley

Even as another book 'Life in the Clock Tower Valley' emerges from Kashmir, its author, Shakoor Rather says that while many past books have...

Lakshmi Devy: The Doctor-Turned-Filmmaker Is Winning Laurels In US

 Dr. Lakshmi Devy, a doctor by profession has always been passionate about acting and filmmaking and her dreams have come true after she won...

The Practice of Discretion Will Help You Achieve Success

We live in an age where 'innocence is bliss' no more and the call for being discreet but decisive guides every step of the...

Recent Comments