MSNBC host Joy Reid spread a discredited and unsupported claim about “fake news” influencing Twitter users before the election on “AM Joy” Saturday.
Reid reported that Twitter users saw, “more information from Russian outlets, Wikileaks, and fake news sites, than from actual news outlets, and that tweeters in swing states saw more misinformation than those in uncontested states.”
Those claims are not supported by facts. The “fake news” line rests on a study from Oxford that didn’t even use the term “fake news,” but rather “junk news.”
Moreover, the definition of junk news includes legitimate websites like Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner.
Also, despite the implication that shady “Russian” news was involved, Russian news was only 3 percent of the “polarizing and conspiracy content” identified by the study — and, “Russian content” included anything from openly state-funded news websites like Russia Today or Sputnik.
Finally, though it is true that some swing states saw higher numbers of “misinformation,” the highest concentration of such alleged “misinformation” is actually in states like West Virginia and Montana, states that were almost certainly uncontested. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Mainstream Media Reporting About Twitter ‘Fake News’ Is 100% FALSE)