Think Fake News Was The Biggest Problem In 2016? Not Quite!

Think Fake News Was The Biggest Problem In 2016? Not Quite!


Fake news has never been more rampant than during 2016's presidential election.

Headlines such as "Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby" and "Wikileaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons To ISIS...Then Drops Another Bombshell" were shared through various social media platforms in 2016.

According to Buzzfeed, the top fake news headlines on Facebook focused on articles that were pro-Trump or anti-Hillary.


A recent report said that 44 percent of adults get their news off of Facebook, and with the various headlines infiltrating your Facebook news feed, you never know which ones have credible sources.

Mike Caulfield, the director of blended and networked learning at Washington State University Vancouver, decided to look into the fact that fake news goes viral over legitimate news.

He found that:

If Facebook is truly a functioning news ecosystem, we should expect large local newspapers like the Boston Globe and LA Times to compete favorably with fake ‘hoax’ newspapers like the Baltimore Gazette or Denver Guardian — fake ‘papers’ that were created purely to derive ad views from people looking for invented Clinton conspiracies.

Vox posted a video on YouTube in an attempt to reveal the real culprit of the biggest media problem of 2016 that may have swayed the election.

The video explains that the topic of Hillary's email server dominated over other topics of discussion during the election.

The theory of "False Equivalence" is used to explain why news articles highlighted Hillary's email debacle over the multiple issues that surround the President-Elect.

Because of the topics associated with Trump - like xenophobia, ties to Russia, racism, sexual assault and tax returns, to name a few - were too abundant to go into detail, those topics got less coverage in the media.

Unfortunately by comparison, the dearth of Clinton's issues became a crippling matter.


The latest research on Buzzfeed revealed:

Over the course of the 10 months leading up to the election, the top 20 fake news articles being shared on Facebook skyrocketed from 3 million “shares, reactions, and comments” to nearly 9 million, while mainstream media articles declined from 12 million shares, reactions, and comments in February to just 7.3 million by Election Day.

In an attempt to filter out fake news from users' news feeds, Facebook teamed up with proven, fact-checking organizations.

But, the implied culprit of media problems is not the fake news. The video claims that it's the lack of perspective in the news articles that is to blame.

Because most notable news reports failed to report the gravity of the consequences from election results, many were left going to the polls confused.


Watch Vox's trending video below for more details on their theory.

H/T - YouTube, Vox, Buzzfeed

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