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Published February 6, 2018

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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24 Comments

  1. Ad Ad

    Didn’t realize this article was satire til I read this line:
    “left-wingers stick to authentic news reports from outlets like BBC, CNN, Young Turks, and MSNBC.”
    Strong troll…

  2. AskYourMom. AskYourMom.

    The entire study is angry Euro-trash propaganda, the fact that they call Trump supporters news sources “trashy” points to that fact.

    Furthermore who at Oxford decided that the sources of Trump supports listen to are low-quality, extremist, sensationalist or conspiratorial content, I’m guessing they must be the same people who convince everyone in England that the daily stabbing’s, acid attacks and rapes they are now exposed to since the influx of hordes of immigrants have nothing to do with the immigrants.

    There are no Trump supporting organizations set up to organize riots to silence free speech on the streets and college campuses, stir up racial hatred, ruin the professional lives of people they don’t agree with, boycott entire businesses to ruin them or ban or silence Trump supporters online.

    And of course we can’t forget the scores of LEFTIST ANTI-TRUMP FAKE NEWS MEDIA OUTLETS that have been routinely caught spreading fake news and propaganda so much so that their losing money. (Just a clue but as a news media outlet, you don’t lose money or rating if you are telling the truth) How could the study miss all of that? Unless……maybe they are leftist themselves.

    This study proves Europe is just as bad if not worse than America when it comes to leftist fake news and propaganda. It’s as if this study either mistakenly got everything backwards or are deliberately being intellectually dishonest just like the liberal colleges in America do every day.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      The most likely problem is, or was, that the researchers didn’t stop to consider that news outlets on the other side of the political spectrum could be classified as junk news according to the study’s own classfication system:

      “For a source to be labelled as junk news at least three of the following five characteristics must apply”

      So, let’s pick three.

      “Professionalism: These outlets do not employ the standards and best practices of
      professional journalism. They refrain from providing clear information about real
      authors, editors, publishers and owners. They lack transparency, accountability, and do
      not publish corrections on debunked information.”

      Easily applies to most news outlets. Most do not cite sources or bother to quality-check work to be published as these are time-consuming aspects of journalism most outlets don’t bother with.

      “Style: These outlets use emotionally driven language with emotive expressions,
      hyperbole, ad hominem attacks, misleading headlines, excessive capitalization, unsafe
      generalizations and fallacies, moving images, graphic pictures and mobilizing memes.”

      I doubt one could find a news outlet that employs a completely neutral style. Every single one is vying for attention and viewership. I wonder what means a news site could employ to attract more viewers. Hmm…

      “Bias: Reporting in these outlets is highly biased and ideologically skewed, which is otherwise described as hyper-partisan reporting. These outlets frequently present opinion and commentary essays as news.”

      “Ideologically skewed” is how I would describe the media landscape as a whole. It’s one of the reasons we have seen such a steep decline in journalistic integrity and quality.
      So, there, take any news outlet and see if you can apply these characteristics. If the answer is yes, it’s a junk news site.

      In summary, I don’t believe the people involved in this study were ideologically motivated. Rather, they likely did not think to check the other side. Usually, if you want to reinforce your findings (which you should aspire to particularly in potentially politically charged studies), you not only establish that your results are true, you also provide data that shows the opposite of your findings to be false. Had they done this, they would have easily come to the conclusion that the left-leaning side of the spectrum consumes and distributes just as much junk media.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous

    I guess the Daily Stormer and Voat are legitimate. They didn’t show up on the list. Also American Renaissance, Red Ice, New Nation News and Stuff Black People Don’t Like, National Vanguard, as well as a plethora of others
    The scientists of this study with their astute statistical analysis have given me verification that I’m on the right track.

  4. Anonymous Anonymous

    This is called gas lighting. Its a tactic used to make you question your own sanity. Let’s stand strong together and not fall for trickeries disguised as “science” whatever that means nowadays. MAGA!

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      lmao the safe space echo chamber got triggered by science

      • Good boy Good boy

        >Collecting Drumoofph-supporting new sources and labeling them “junk”
        >”Look! Terumpff-supporters read junk!”
        lmfao sure, that’s really how science works. Quality study there, lad. Go back to your “i gently caressing love science duuude xD xD XD” fb pages and look at some pictures of space.

        • Anonymous Anonymous

          I’ll continue to feed my brain with the findings of researchers doing science, not anonymous claims on the internet. That’s the difference between science-based humans who will go to Mars and trumpanzee lifeforms who will be left behind.

  5. Notfallingforit. Notfallingforit.

    >Check for CNN, ABC,NBC, MSNBC
    >Not listed

    fake news

  6. Anonymous Anonymous

    Calling CNN and The Young Turks “real news” but CampusReform and Hannity are “fake news”?

    How many genocides has Hannity denied vs. Cenk Uygur of TYT?

    • Retard Rater Rick Retard Rater Rick

      >cenk denies armenian genocide
      Fake news straight from infowars. Thanks for proving the point.
      8/10

  7. Anonymous Anonymous

    As a Trump supporter I had trouble believing this, but I checked the methodology. Looks solid. Thanks for ruining my day, I guess.

  8. WE WE

    >authentic news reports from outlets like BBC, CNN, Young Turks, and MSNBC.

    Oh sweetie, I fell off of my chair laughing. Thank you.

  9. Anonymous Anonymous

    >On Twitter, the Trump Support Group shares 95% of the junk news sites on the watch list, and accounted for 55% of junk news traffic in the sample. Other kinds of audiences shared content from these junk news sources, but at much lower levels. On Facebook, the Hard Conservative Group shares 91% of the junk news sites on the watch list, and accounted for 58% of junk news traffic in the sample”

    So basically when you compile your list of junk news sites, be sure they all have a right wing bend to them. Then you collect data on who viewed and spread around articles from your junk list, surprise surpise, the right wing people spread around junk news from right leaning junk sources.

    Can I do a study like this and select 90% left leaning junk news sources to put on the list. I wonder who we would see spreading those around?

    Its impossible to be genuine and objective when you have the mind virus of leftism.

    • legacy meteors legacy meteors

      Let them run their little studies to try and browbeat everyone into believing them again, they’re dying off anyway because surprise surprise any poopyposter with a webcam and a microphone can do whatever CNN’s million dollar studios with panels of analysts can do, and more efficiently and quickly at that

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Knock yourself out?
      I think it’s time one of you stop calling everything else fake news, and provide a few examples.

  10. Queen Elizabeth is a reptilian look at this 6 hour documentary Queen Elizabeth is a reptilian look at this 6 hour documentary

    Imagine being surprised that the same people who spin conspiracy theories about lizard people and flat earth are consuming fake news.

    Trump supporters are retarded. Not really news.

  11. Anonymous Anonymous

    I don’t tend to trust studies because I work with them all day erryday. If you have ever actually read any study from anyone you know that there are myriad factors that make up their results. I imagine you can find studies that prove that we live in a snow globe. So no, I don’t give a gently caress about your study. You’re a gently caressing little crybaby, and you’ve been sobbing about Trump winning for over a year now. It’s no wonder you don’t get laid.

  12. Anonymous Anonymous

    >pastebin.com
    I just want to have my morning coffee and pastebin.com columns and now they’re going to take that away too

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      lol

      Regardless of my political beliefs, it’s undeniable the left is eating itself and are becoming more hypocritical with each passing day.. this sucks because it legitimizes the opposite views just out of principle.

      The behavior of the left and the right are driving more and more folks away from them, to either the center or more to a conservative-center. That might be a good thing, it might be a bad thing..

      All that can be said for sure, is that the outrage culture of the left is causing folks to leave the left in favor of those that do not convolute simple science-based well defined facts as if they’re “fluid topics”.

      The right is distancing itself more from the right-extreme just out of principle, as government is getting bigger and bigger, the right-leaning are going more to the roots of what the right stands for, which is small-to-no government. Self-governing.

      The numbers posted by so many outlets are horribly biased due to inherent political belief, thus resulting in them (intentionally or not) picking tolerances for polling that benefits their view (even if they know they’re doing it or are blinded by a bias belief that their way is the only way).

      -“Nothing is more harmful to one’s belief, than to be blind to when the opposition has a valid stance”

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      >breitbart
      >drudge
      >hannity
      >etc.

      I really want to have respect for you, science, but you make it so hard. It’s pretty much down to just theoretical physicists and mathematicians that I’ll even listen to anymore.

  13. Anonymous Anonymous

    NO
    STOP IT

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      start it up

  14. Anonymous Anonymous

    it’s a lie gently caress you and im will continue read breitbart gently caress you

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