How fake news becomes a popular, trending topic
Our project was featured in a 60 Minutes investigation of ‘fake news’ and disinformation.
Phil Howard leads the Internet Institute at the University of Oxford which examines misinformation on social media. They’ve analyzed web traffic in the days before the election in the swing state of Michigan.
Scott Pelley: How much of this news on Twitter in Michigan was, as you call it, junk news and how much of it legitimate?
Phil Howard: Well, in the case of Michigan, we found that the proportions were about equal. The junk news with stories that had not been fact-checked and that came from organizations that were not professional journalism organizations, was about as much as the amount of content coming from the professional news organizations.
Scott Pelley: There was as much fake news as there was actual news?
Phil Howard: There was.
Watch the full 60 Minutes special here.