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Public Lecture with Brendan Nyhan
Public Lecture with Brendan Nyhan
WhenWednesday, Nov 14, 2018, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Campus locationKane Hall (KNE)
Campus room120
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsThe Graduate School, Office of the Provost, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Public Health
Description

Selective Exposure to Misinformation: Evidence from the consumption of fake news during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign

Though some warnings about online “echo chambers” have been hyperbolic, tendencies toward selective exposure to politically congenial content are likely to extend to misinformation and to be exacerbated by social media platforms. We test this prediction using data on the factually dubious articles known as “fake news.” Using unique data combining survey responses with individual-level web traffic histories, we estimate that approximately 1 in 4 Americans visited a fake news website from October 7-November 14, 2016. Trump supporters visited the most fake news websites, which were overwhelmingly pro-Trump. However, fake news consumption was heavily concentrated among a small group—almost 6 in 10 visits to fake news websites came from the 10% of people with the most conservative online information diets. We also find that Facebook was a key vector of exposure to fake news and that fact-checks of fake news almost never reached its consumers.

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