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Right-wing misinformation on Facebook more engaging than left-wing, study says

The researchers analyzed nearly 3,000 sources of news and information that operate large...
The researchers analyzed nearly 3,000 sources of news and information that operate large Facebook pages.(Source: CNN)
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 7:09 AM AKST
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(CNN) – Not all misinformation is created equal on Facebook.

Researchers at New York University found that right-wing sources of misinformation are some of the most engaging content on the social media platform.

Bottom line: Their posts get more likes, shares, and comments.

The researchers analyzed nearly 3,000 sources of news and information that operate large Facebook pages.

In the five months from August 2020 to January 2021, repeat misinformation sharers on the right had about 426 interactions per week for every 1,000 followers.

Other right-wing sources not associated with misinformation had about 259 weekly interactions per 1,000 followers.

By comparison, sources identified as being in the political center and not deemed consistent misinformation-sharers had an average of just 79 weekly interactions for every 1,000 followers.

Sources identified as frequent sharers of left-wing misinformation had even lower engagement, clocking in at roughly 60 interactions per 1,000 followers over the five-month period.

Researchers didn’t explain why right-wing misinformation is highly engaging, just that it noticed the trend.

Facebook has not responded to the study results.

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