Science has discovered the reason for modern political polarization, and it’s not Soros. Trump supporters simply do not live in consensus reality, a University of Oxford study has found.

The study, from the university’s Computational Propaganda Research Project (COMPROP), focused on the proliferation of trashy news sources in the three months leading up to Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, and concluded that the majority (55%) of news shared and consumed by Trump supporters falls into its “junk news” category. Junk news was defined as coming from sites associated with low-quality, extremist, sensationalist or conspiratorial content — in other words, the very fake news Trump supporters loudly claim to hate.

Around 13,500 politically active US Twitter users as well as 48,000 Facebook pages were monitored and put into categories such as “Conservative Media,” “Women’s Rights,” “Resistance,” “Hard Conservative,” “Trump Supporters,” “Republican Party” (distinct from Trump supporters) and “Military/Guns.” The categorization was based both on post content and self-identification such as #MAGA in profile fields.

There was an extreme difference between the groups in frequency of links to the 91 sites the “team of 12 trained coders familiar with the US political and media landscape” had marked as junk: “The Trump Support group consumes the highest volume of junk news sources on Twitter, and spreads more junk news sources, than all the other groups put together. This pattern is repeated on Facebook, where the Hard Conservatives group consumed the highest proportion of junk news.”

Put simply, people marked with right-wing classifications (but particularly Trump supporters) strongly prefer bogus screeds from conspiracy theory sites like InfoWars and Breitbart, while left-wingers stick to authentic news from outlets like BBC, CNN, Young Turks, and MSNBC.

Surprisingly, the study did not find a lot of russian sites being shared, but the researchers added that “the political conversations on social media exclude a Russian audience group.”

The study did not address whether any of the monitored Twitter and Facebook accounts were bots.

Here’s the study’s list of junk news sites:

100percentfedup.com
allenbwest.com
americanthinker.com
anonews.co
barenakedislam.com
beforeitsnews.com
bipartisanreport.com
bizpacreview.com
bredred.com
breitbart.com
campusreform.org
centerforsecuritypolicy.org
clintonemail.com
cnsnews.com
commonsenseconservative.org
concealncarry.stfi.re
conservativedailypost.com
conservativeoutfitters.com
conservativeread.com
conservativereview.com
conservativetribune.com
constitution.com
crooksandliars.com
dailycaller.com
dailynewsbin.com
dangerandplay.com
dcclothesline.com
deepstatenation.com
dennismichaellynch.com
donaldtrumpnews.co
drudgereport.com
endingthefed.com
eutimes.net
floppingaces.net
freebeacon.com
frontpagemag.com
gotnews.com
hannity.com
hotair.com
hotpagenews.com
infowars.com
inquisitr.com
joeforamerica.com
judicialwatch.org
lawnews.tv
lifenews.com
magafeed.com
mediaite.com
mobile.wnd.com
mostdamagingwikileaks.com
mrctv.org
nationalreview.com
naturalnews.com
newsbusters.org
newsmax.com
nydailynews.com
occupydemocrats.com
pamelageller.com
pastebin.com
patdollard.com
patriotpost.us
politopinion.com
puppetstringnews.com
rasmussenreports.com
redstate.com
redstatewatcher.com
scooprocket.com
shareblue.com
silenceisconsent.net
stateofthenation2012.com
theamericanfirst.com
theamericanmirror.com
theblacksphere.net
theconservativetreehouse.com
thefederalist.com
thefederalistpapers.org
thegatewaypundit.com
theodysseyonline.com
thepoliticalinsider.com
therealstrategy.com
therebel.media
truepundit.com
truthfeed.com
ukok.page.tl
usalibertynews.com
vaskal.ca
weaselzippers.us
westernjournalism.com
wnd.com
youngcons.com
yournewswire.com

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I write about the alt-right and other shenanigans. Proud owner of two rescue cats and a 1970 Triumph Bonneville. Send me stuff at [email protected] if you dare.