As 2016 draws to a close, the ongoing debate regarding “fake news’ has pressed forward, but notably absent from the debate is any evidence that “fake news” impacted voters’ decisions on whom to vote for in last month’s election.
Less than two weeks after the election, PBS aired a segment titled: “How online hoaxes and fake news played a role in this election,” which featured BuzzFeed writer Craig Silverman.
The segment leaned heavily on a BuzzFeed “study” that purportedly showed that the top 20 “fake news” election stories outperformed the top 20 “real” election stories on Facebook.
Putting aside the fact that BuzzFeed was accused of using suspect methodology to fit a narrative, and putting aside the fact that Facebook has since discredited the data upon which BuzzFeed relied for the study, the findings still didn’t show that fake news had any impact on the way people voted last November. Silverman did not return a request for comment from TheDC by press time. – READ MORE