Fake news had more reach on Facebook before the elections

News Hour:

The top stories from fake news sources attracted more engagement on Facebook than the top stories from legitimate news organizations in the weeks leading up to the election, generating more shares, comments and reactions on the social network.

On the websites it tracked, Buzzfeed found four of the five top performing stories came from fake news sites, with a single article from The Washington Post reaching the level of engagement achieved by stories like “WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS” and “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide” between August and election day.

That analysis appears to contradict comments Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made in the days after the election. Speaking at the Techonomy business conference on Thursday, Zuckerberg said he doubted fake news stories on Facebook affected the results of the election, as they represent “a very small amount of the content” on the site, a thought he later expanded upon on his own Facebook page.


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