Pouring cold water on the fake news panic

From Michael Cook at MercatorNet:

Just a handful of academic studies have attempted to measure the impact of fake news – as opposed to the dissemination of fake news.

In January 2017, Jacob L. Nelson, of Northwestern University, published an article in the Columbia Journalism Review.

He poured cold water on fake news panic. In the first place, the readership of internet fake news is tiny compared to the real news audience–just one-tenth. Readers also spent more time on average with real news than fake news.

And most significantly, readers of fake news do not exist in a filter bubble. Visitors to fake news sites visited real news sites just as often as visitors to real news sites visited other real news sites. In fact, sometimes fake news audiences visited real news sites more often.

Nelson concluded: “Is ‘fake news’ a fake problem?”More.

Reality check: Yes, it is a fake and very old problem. There has always been lots of fake news and disinformation out there, as anyone who has glanced at the supermarket checkout counter tabloids in th last fifty years will have noticed.

Hillary Clinton lost the US election because of real news that her party was unequipped to face, period.

See also: Part I: What isfake news? Do we believe it?

Part II: Does fake news make a difference in politics?

Part III: What can we do about fake news that would not diminish real news? Critics of ‘fake news’ should go to China — only the government has the right to post fake news.

Extra! Extra! A handy guide to the normal fake news: Surviving information overload