The most viewed story on Facebook in the past year is the uncorroborated BuzzFeed piece on the dossier alleging that President Donald Trump engaged in illicit activities, including kinky sexual acts with Russian prostitutes, according to an Axios report.
Journalists with vastly different political leanings criticized the media outlet for publishing the unsubstantiated 35-page memo, noting “the allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.” CNN originally posted a heavily hedged report on the refuted memo, but only incorporated an excerpt of the documents.
Coming in second place behind BuzzFeed and CNN’s dubious dossier report are multiple Trump-Russia articles published in four-day span early May, according to an Axios analysis of SocialFlow data. Such highly read stories include Trump’s alleged leak of confidential information to Russian diplomats and a purported memo from Trump telling then-FBI Director James Comey to let go of the investigation against former National Security adviser Michael Flynn.
Many people, including political operatives, reporters, businessmen and elected officials, allege that fraudulent or misleading news helped elect Trump by unfairly depicting his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a negative way. (RELATED: Podesta Says Fake News Is A Huge Threat)
A study conducted by researchers at New York University and Stanford shows that false stories had virtually no effect on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Nevertheless, since Trump was elected president, data reveals that millions viewed a widely refuted story painting Trump in a highly unfavorable way, meaning that the president is often the victim, not the benefactor, of false news.
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