Fake News: It’s Mostly a Right-Wing Phenomenon

The Berkman Klein Center at Harvard has just released a new report of the role of online media in the 2016 election. Some of it is stuff we’ve seen before: for example, coverage of Hillary Clinton was massively weighted toward her emails and other “scandals,” while coverage of Trump was weighted toward the issues.

Generally speaking, however, the big thread that runs through the whole report is the asymmetry of social media. Liberals tend to share items about equally from centrist sites and far-left sites. Conservatives, however, almost literally have no interest in centrist sites. They only share items from extremely partisan sites:

Here’s what the report has to say:

Prominent media on the left are well distributed across the center, center-left, and left. On the right, prominent media are highly partisan. From all of these perspectives, conservative media is more partisan and more insular than the left….Breitbart emerges as the nexus of conservative media….Seven sources, all from the partisan right or partisan left, receive substantially more attention on social media than links from other media outlets….In this group, Gateway Pundit is in a class of its own, known for “publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.”

The report also includes a detailed analysis of how the media got played on the story of the Clinton Foundation. I may have more on that later.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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