U.S. group says misinformation on the rise on Facebook

Most of the false news sources were individual users or non-official political pages

An advocacy group tracking misinformation says it has found an increase in fake political news shared on Facebook ahead of the 2020 presidential elections.

The group, Avaaz, said Wednesday that it found that viral misinformation is still being spread on the social network despite measures Facebook has put in place since the 2016 elections. The researchers tracked the 100 most widely shared false news stories between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1 this year. The stories they tracked had all been fact-checked and debunked by Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners, which include The Associated Press.

The group found that, collectively, the fake stories were posted more than 2.3 million times and had an estimated 158.9 million views, along with 8.9 million likes, comments and shares. The false stories targeted both political parties, though Avaaz says the majority were against Democrats and liberals.

Most of the false news sources were individual users or non-official political pages. Avaaz, a left-leaning online advocacy group, said stories it found spreading even after they were debunked included one falsely claiming that President Donald Trump’s grandfather was a pimp and a tax evader and that his father was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. That story had an estimated 29 million views. Another story falsely claiming that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar attended an al-Qaeda training camp had an estimated 770,000 views.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report late Tuesday.

Avaaz said in the report that the findings are the “tip of the iceberg of disinformation” ahead of the 2020 elections.

ALSO READ: FTC fines Facebook $5B, adds limited oversight on privacy

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Family of man missing for three years issues plea for information

Daniel Curtis Ladd was last seen leaving his home in Cranbrook in August 2016

It happened this week in 1912

Nov. 10 - 16: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

The journey to the 2020 BC Performing Arts Festival

An Interview with Tim Plait : This is the first in a series of features on the 2020 Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival, which Cranbrook is hosting

Summer Blackmore wins RBC Future Olympian funding

Cranbrook’s Blackmore was one of just thirty athletes at the final, from a variety of sports, to earn funding.

Fire destroys house in downtown Cranbrook

Firefighters arrived at the 1600 block of 2nd Street North, across from Western Financial Place, to find a residence that was “significantly involved in a fire”

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

Community Foundation, RBC support local youth

Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies and RBC Foundation Award $28,000 to Youth-Led Projects

Freedom of speech and its consequences

The United States Congress has embarked on the process to impeach President… Continue reading

‘The unexamined life,’ and other subversive ideas

Yme Woensdregt People today consider Socrates to be one of the world’s… Continue reading

Fragmentation: The Tribalisation of Politics

Gwynne Dyer ‘Homo economicus’ is dead. Long live ‘homo tribuarius’! That’s not… Continue reading

First Nations ‘optimistic’ about road upgrades after Horgan visits site of fatal bus crash

Premier travelled Bamfield Main road, where bus flipped last September and two students were killed

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

B.C. man facing 18 charges after hidden camera found in Kelowna winery washroom

The camera was found at Summerhill Winery on Aug. 23

Most Read