A University of Oxford study claims that mainstream “right-wing” news sites like The Daily Caller and National Review constitute “junk news” and serve propaganda purposes, rather than informational.
In “Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption over Social Media in the US,” six researchers conclude conservative outlets are overwhelmingly responsible for disinformation leading up to the 2016 election.
The study, released Tuesday, breaks down the sources of this supposed “deceptive or incorrect information purporting to be real news about politics, economics or culture” into the “Junk News Classification.” Within this classification, the sites in question must satisfy three of five characteristics that include a lack of “professionalism,” questionable “style,” a lack of “credibility,” “bias,” or “counterfeit” behavior that means the “outlets mimic professional news media.”
Dozens of websites, many of which do appear fraudulent, appear on the author’s list. Yet within the list, however, a number of legitimate outlets appear including the Daily Caller, National Review, Hot Air, Newsbusters, among others.
Only a handful of sites can be considered left-leaning, which include Mediaite, OccupyDemocrats, and the New York Daily News.
“On Twitter, a network of Trump supporters consumes the largest volume of junk news, and junk news is the largest proportion of news links they share,” the authors write. On other social media sites, like Facebook, the authors conclude that there was an even greater presence of “junk news.”
“Extreme hard right pages – distinct from Republican pages – share more junk news than all the other audiences put together,” the study reads.
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