Fake news has higher engagement than real news on Facebook

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
May 22, 2019, 11:44 AM UTC

Despite efforts by Facebook and Twitter, fake news is still prevalent.

A recent study from Oxford University says that junk news – content from less reputable sources - on Facebook gets shared four-times more than news from a trusted source. The study considers outlets that do not follow the standard practises of journalism and have opaque sourcing as junk news. 

According to the report, the German language has the highest ratio of fake news to real news with junk news being shared six times more. Fake news in English, though had a greater reach, with an average engagement of 3,199 shares, likes, and comments per story.

The author contends that users have confirmation bias and subscribe to news sources which suit their ideological beliefs. While banning these sources can decrease the spread of misinformation, but it can also encourage the advocates of such ideologies to move to new channels.

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