The spread of fake news on social media became a public concern in the United States after the 2016 presidential election. We examined exposure to and sharing of fake news by registered voters on Twitter and found that engagement with fake news sources was extremely concentrated. Only 1% of individuals accounted for 80% of fake news source exposures, and 0.1% accounted for nearly 80% of fake news sources shared. Individuals most likely to engage with fake news sources were conservative leaning, older, and highly engaged with political news. A cluster of fake news sources shared overlapping audiences on the extreme right, but for people across the political spectrum, most political news exposure still came from mainstream media outlets.
Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election
Nir Grinberg, Kenneth Joseph, Lisa Friedland, Briony Swire-Thompson, David Lazer
Science 25 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6425, pp. 374-378