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“Fake news” tweets targeted to swing states in election, researchers find

Published on
29 Sep 2017
Written by
Robert Gorwa

The project’s latest research on information circulated on Twitter in the lead up to the 2016 Election was covered in McClatchy.

Voters in 11 swing states in last year’s presidential race, including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, received more fake, junk and hyper-partisan information over Twitter than reliable, professionally produced news in the 10 days before the election, according to a British study of the social media craze’s potential impact.

The analysis of nearly 1.3 million tweets by researchers at Oxford University provides fresh evidence that entities used social media platforms not only as a powerful tool to distribute phony or misleading information, but also to direct it to voters in key jurisdictions to coax some groups to cast ballots and dissuade others from doing so.

Nationwide, an average of 20 percent of election-related tweets contained material from established news organizations, the researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute wrote.

Read the full article here.

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