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2016 Election Media Politics

Study Finds ‘Fake News’ Had NO Effect on Presidential Election

Written by Philip Hodges

In a study led by New York University economics professor Hunt Allcott and Stanford economics professor Matthew Gentzkow, it was found that ‘fake news’ had no effect on the 2016 presidential election.

This flies in the face of everything we’ve been told since November 8, which is that not only did the Russians hack into the DNC’s and Podesta’s emails, but they also were responsible for spreading ‘fake news,’ and it was all for the purpose of getting Trump elected. As the Washington Post put it, there was a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign” that effectively made Hillary Clinton lose.

Of course, most of that was propaganda in and of itself. Their campaign against ‘fake news’ was and is nothing more than an attempt to silence conservative media. If Hillary Clinton had won, there would have been no such thing as ‘fake news,’ and the Russians wouldn’t have hacked anything.

According to this new study, researchers found that while social media was important, it was not the dominant source of news in the run-up to the election. In fact, only 14 percent of voting-age American respondents said that their primary news source was social media.

The study also found that pro-Trump fake news stories were shared about 30 million times in the three months prior to the election, and pro-Clinton fake news stories were shared nearly 8 million times.

But despite those seemingly high share counts, “the average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories, with just over half of those who recalled seeing fake news stories believing them.”

That’s right. According to the study, the average American remembered less than one pro-Trump fake news story. And even less than that actually believed it.

The study concludes that “for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads.”

So much for this “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign.” Not only was it not Russian, but it also wasn’t very sophisticated.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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Philip Hodges

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