Oxford Study Claims Trump Supporters Share More ‘Fake News’

You may have heard about Oxford’s recent study about an apparent link between fake news and conservatives in the United States. The University of Oxford conducted a study indicating that Trump supporters share more “fake news” on social media at a rate higher than all other political groups put together. When Oxford published the results, they even published a press release that boldly claimed, “Trump supporters and extreme right ‘share widest range of junk news.'”

However, counter evidence has shown that this study pinning the blame for fake news on Trump supporters may, in fact, be fake news.

Revisiting the Study

The University of Oxford conducted the study for three months and recently published their findings as a part of the university’s Computational Propaganda Research Project. This project focused on studying and analyzing the habits of 13,477 Twitter users in the United States as well as 47,719 public Facebook pages.

The Twitter users studied were considered “politically active.” The behavior of these users and pages were analyzed for a few months until the State of the Union address in January.

The researchers then mapped how the links to fake news sources flowed throughout Twitter and Facebook. The researchers separated the users into different cohorts, such as “Hard Conservative,” “Trump Supporter,” “Conspiracy,” “Women’s Rights,” “Libertarian,” and “Democratic Party.” These cohorts were kept distinct. However, in reality, these cohorts often overlap with each other.

The researchers defined “fake news” or “junk news” as news that didn’t conform to the basic practices of journalism and purposely published deceptive, misleading, or incorrect information masquerading as real news.

The study found that 55 percent of all the fake news traffic could be traced back to users in the “Trump Supporter” cohort. The researchers concluded that Trump supporters are responsible for sharing the most fake news and circulating the widest range of sources for fake news than all of the other cohorts combined.

In comparison, the “Progressive Movement” and the “Democratic Party” groups combined accounted for just 1 percent of all fake new traffic on social media.

The study found that “extreme hard right pages” on Facebook are responsible for sharing the most fake news and junk news sources than all of the other types of pages combined. The researchers considered an “extreme hard right” page as separate from a Republican page. The “Hard Conservative’ group shared 58 percent of all fake news traffic on Facebook. On the other hand, the Democratic Party shared just 12 percent of all the fake news.

The researchers concluded that, overall, the Democrats and Republicans have very “limited” overlap when it comes to the outlets that they prefer for political news. This is to be expected, due to how the political environment is becoming increasingly polarized day by day.

What Is Fake News, Really?

While the evidence found by these researchers at the University of Oxford may sound convincing, one only needs to take a brief look at the methodology of the researchers to reveal the holes in their claim.

To conduct the study, the researchers created a list of 91 sources of fake news. This took many years of monitoring and cutting the list down to just the news sources that push propaganda pretending to be news or ideologically extreme, conspiratorial, or hyper-partisan information or news. The researchers received over $200,000 in funding from taxpayers to compile this list of sources of fake news. However, this list of junk news sources actually just consists of many of the most popular websites on the Internets for conservatives.

Some of the “propaganda news outlets” on the list of the researchers include Drudge Report, the Daily Caller, the Washington Free Beacon, and the National Review. The Drudge Report, for example, is the seventh most popular media publication in the country in terms of the number of visits.

While this study claims to prove that conservatives hold all of the responsibility for sharing fake news, all this study shows is that conservatives share the most conservative media on the Internet. Ironically, these Oxford researchers are showing a greater tendency to share fake news than the conservatives they accuse of spreading junk news.

~ Conservative Zone


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14 responses to “Oxford Study Claims Trump Supporters Share More ‘Fake News’”

  1. Another pathetic attempt by those lib weasels to try an end run on the truth. Truth is the American public is smarter than that. And truth is, that the study is more fake news! and they got $200k to boot.

  2. We are interested in separating real news from fake news. According to Oxford, if it’s conservative, it’s fake and if it’s leftist it’s as real as it can possibly be. This is an easy enough rule to follow-so Hillary Clinton must actually be the president because the real news people said that she had a 98% chance of winning the election. Ninety-eight percent is close enough to certainty that it would be impossible for Trump to overcome. Some in the fake news media said Trump had a chance to win-he did. So, then which group is fake? The real news people said if Trump won, it would be the end of the country-the fake news people thought Trump would straighten things out. Trump won and things are straightening out. The real news said if Trump won it would only be a short time before voters would have second thoughts and would begin to wish they had voted for Hillary-he won and his approval rating is higher than Obama’s at this time in his term. It sounds a lot like the real news is fake and the fake news is real and the real research is as fake as the real, real news.

  3. It is truly stunning that this was called a poll. Sounds like the ones paid to do this were paid like Hillary paid for the Russian dossier. (I sincerely hope they are bright enough to get the insult on my second sentence but who knows.) The results were set in advance and this was indeed a fake poll. I find it insulting that people doing these “polls” expect for anyone to believe their claims. As many posters have stated the public especially the conservatives are wise to this BS. And we are fed up. This poll reminds me of one of the bimbos of the propagandist being upset because Trump was contacting the public directly with his twitter activity. She, the bimbo of the propaganda machines, said it was their job to tell us what was news. Hum? Like this poll, why on earth would anyone believe these idiots?

  4. Did these “investigators” check the fake news that is pushed is almost always from liberal websites and news sources. I finally got tired of calling so many of them out since I got called racist on most during Obambam’s crime spree. The greatest Amount of “fake or distorted” news has always come liberals. One network (CNN for instance) would invent one of their “breaking stories” and the rest of MSM would echo them across the TV, Radio and internet news as fact without verifying anything.

  5. Just why does an English University care about the liberals and conservatives in the USA? And how did they get the tax-payer funding for such a study?

  6. I DON’T KNOW WHY, I’M WASTING MY TIME ANSWERING TO THIS PIECE OF Postmodern LIBERAL GARBAGE coming from Oxford. Their so called “Faculty” is made out of Postmodern LIBERALS, a strange breed that deceives the traditional Liberalism!

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