Oxford University Study Smears Conservative News Sites As ‘Junk News’

February 6th, 2018 5:13 PM

Liberal media will go a long way to portray conservatives as liars -- all the way to England.

A new study on “Junk News Consumption” was released on February 6 from the University of Oxford as part of the Computational Propaganda Research Project. In the list of sources targeted and researched as “junk news,” conservative sites such as Drudge Report, NewsBusters, CNSNews, MRCTV, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, Free Beacon, LifeNews, National Review, the Red State, and the Federalist were smeared as “unprofessional,” “counterfeit,” “biased,” and “emotionally driven.”

The study came to the conclusion that “extreme hard right pages -- distinct from Republican pages -- share more junk news than all the other audiences put together.” Other media outlets, such as The Guardian, Newsweek, and Mother Jones reported that this study proved “Fake News Sharing in US is A Rightwing Thing, Says Study.”

Mother Jones wrote that “Trump supporters are among the most prolific social media users spreading fake news and conspiracy content.”

In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, lead researcher Philip Howard said that “a small chunk of the population isn’t able to talk politics or share ideas in a sensible way with the rest of the population.” He told Greg Gordon, “That’s a problem for democracy.”

The purpose of the report was to determine “what kinds of social media users read junk news?” By monitoring a core group of 13,500 Twitter users and 48,000 public Facebook pages, the researchers apparently determined that “extreme hard right pages--distinct from Republican pages--share the widest range of known junk news sources.”

In the abstract description of the project, the researchers wrote” “Drawing on a list of sources that consistently publish political news and information that is extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked commentary, fake news and other forms of junk news, we find that the distribution of such content is unevenly spread across the ideological spectrum.”

The study classified “junk news” as a source that met three of the following five qualifications:

“These outlets do not employ the standards and best practices of professional journalism.”

“These outlets use emotionally driven language with … unsafe generalizations and fallacies.”

“These outlets rely on false information and conspiracy theories, which they often employ strategically.”

“These outlets frequently present opinion and commentary essays as news.”

“These outlets mimic professional news media. They counterfeit fonts, branding, and stylistic content strategies.”