Researchers: Fake News Did Not Alter 2016 Presidential Election Results

STANFORD, Calif. — As social media sites like Facebook and Snapchat move to eliminate “fake news” reports from their sites, researchers from Stanford and New York Universities say Americans can be sure of one thing: the phenomenon did not affect the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Fake news did not affect the presidential election in 2016, researchers say.

The study investigates the influence that fake news may have had on President Trump’s victory.

NYU economics professor Hunt Allcott and Stanford economics professor Matthew Gentzkow led the research. The pair ran a series of tests to determine which fake news articles were circulated, how much of it was circulated, and the amount of voters that believed the stories to be true.

Once they gathered an assortment of fake news stories, Gentzkow and Allcott used fact-checking resources in order to verify that these stories were fake. They then conducted a post-election survey that consisted of 1,200 voters.

Participants were asked what their primary or “most important” source of 2016 election news was. Next, they were presented with a list of true and false news stories, and asked two questions concerning each individual story. The first was whether or not the participant remembered seeing the story. The second question asked whether or not they believed the story.

Although fake news stories in Trump’s favor were shared more times (30 million compared to 8 million for Hillary Clinton), the authors of the report had determined that these stories still did not reach enough voters nationwide to change the election results.

“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,” the authors write. But, “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.”

The observers’ work also revealed that a majority of voters were capable of accurately deciding whether or not a news story was true. They concluded that an insignificant number of American voters casted their final decision based on false information.

“In summary, our data suggest that social media were not the most important source of election news, and even the most widely circulated fake news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans,” the study concludes.

Comments

  1. So the results showed that a pro-Trump fake news story was FOUR TIMES as likely to have been seen and remembered as a pro-Clinton fake news story. The study then further concluded (based on the results of a survey question) that such stories did not affect the election results. Drawing such a conclusion from such a question assumes that people make rational, conscious decisions and know exactly why they selected one candidate over another. Such an assumption is completely unwarranted and renders the conclusion drawn invalid.

  2. Notice that every hourly newscast from CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, NPR will say something negative about Trump. It was that way since the campaigns began and continues today. This is what makes me despise the media and the Democratic party(probably for life). I used to be a JFK Democrat but I believe that today JFK would be a Republican.

  3. I am insulted as a Trump supporter, watching the politicians sell us out for decades for their own gain…INCLUDING HILLARY AND OBAMA, that the whole cesspool is shocked that TRUMP WON!~ Why so shocked? Out of touch for sure!

    He WON BIG, and WON legitimately, how insulting these morons are to say PUTIN put a gun to our heads to vote for him. The lies the media and the DIMMS are telling to try and de-legitimize this historic win is disgusting!

    Scary so many SNOWFLAKES and crazy middle aged white women see differently, and believe the drivel of their inarticulate and false narrative of Trump, a guy who was in office office less then 24 hrs. Their idiotic march was meant to empower (in their minds)and turned into something embarrassing for generations to come!

    I have watched Hillary for a long, long time! How these people wanting her in office is offensive to me, as a woman, I am sure it was all about her vagina and not her accomplishments. She stuck by her man and ridiculed woman of his sexual assaults, she did it to a young woman who was raped as well. Hillary Clinton is not a champion of anyone or anything..unless it escalates her agenda! The stories are out there. The book are out there, verified and true! Yet the liberal looks at that eye opening wealth of information as it was garlic and a cross! People have spoken, things verified..and the sheep still wanted her! What are her accomplishments? She was in all her official positions…BECAUSE OF BILL..HER HUSBAND! She is who these leftist loons CHAMPION as an “empowered”, did it myself woman?? I knew at all costs given Hillary’s history of deceit and nastiness, and her sellout of America…SHE WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT! I did not believe the polls for a minute.

    Shame on the Democratic voter, who got screwed by the DNC manipulation and theft to get their weak candidate in the position to run for president! Nobody but Bernie in the Democratic Party? The collusion with the MSM and SUPER DELGATES to get her the nod..when crazy Bernie was kicking her ass! YOU ALL SAID NOTHING!!!!!! AND LET THE DNC GET AWAY WITH THEIR SICK DEFEATING AGENDA! Debbie Wasserman Shultz should be in jail, and she was on TV the other night saying all sorts of bad things about Trump, who has been in office for 13 days!

    THE LIBS ARE NUTS, THE MEDIA IS NUTS, GEORGE SOROS IS A PIG AND THEY MARCH TO HIS BANK ACCOUNT! HE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT AMERICA, PROFIT AND DOOM and anarchy ARE HIS ONLY CONCERN! And DONALD TRUMP IS THE BAD GUY? Americans DID NOT WANT HILLARY, she was rejected AGAIN, with good reason! God Bless Donald Trump. I and others did not need the news of any kind to tell me what I have know for years. The Clinton’s, their “foundations”, their scandals etc. are a cancer on this country! And shame on the immature, inflammatory, treasonous. dangerous actions going on with supported grownups in our government and across the land. YOU LOST! Pray for our PRESIDENT, we sink or rise as a nation together..grow up!

  4. Bullshit. 1200 people are supposed to represent the entire population of the United States? I saw the amount of crap people were sharing and believing. What a perfect way for the establishment to cover their tracks of rigging an entire election. The whole system is a sham. No one voted for these cretins, certainly not half the country in either case. By every measure (except the ones in Mainstream Media) Bernie Sanders should have been our new president.

  5. I would suggest that the “not fake news” in general doomed Hillary’s run for the prez position. DNC cheating, Hillary’s health, low energy, poor rally turnouts, her past issues. Every time she’s in the honest news it’s about something deceitful or untrustworthy that she’s a part of. And then the Fake Mainstream Media tried to prop her by saying she was way ahead in the polls, and pampering her like a sickly golden child, while constantly condemning her opponents. The common American can recognize bullshit when they see it, and we saw it in many flavors everyday on 90% of the media until she lost, and now the Fake Mainstream Media gets to suck up all that stank for the next 8+ years. I would suggest that if a news organization favors an opponent in the future, that they should keep your/their slanted opinions to yourself and report the fucking news.

  6. Fake news has been around forever, but it used to be called “propaganda”. Today, it’s just an excuse for angry sore-losers because they can’t accept that they had a bad candidate. Sure, lots of moronic false stories were presented in social media during the election (from both sides), but the only folks who believed the worst of the garbage were also folks who had their minds made up for one candidate or the other. It’s time to get past the election. Stupid, fake-news stories didn’t persuade anyone. It’s delusional to believe otherwise.

  7. Yes it did
    Every liberal I know was tricked by tons of fake news. They think the Russians hacked the election and Trump is a KKK member

  8. “Social media”?

    WHAT ABOUT THE LIBERAL “MAINSTREAM” MEDIA?!?!?

    ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, LA Times, etc., etc., etc…

    Hillary spent 1.2 Billion dollars on her campaign. (Several times what Trump spent) and that put what, 50 thirty second ads in the average American home? The liberal media blasted hours of anti Trump pro Hillary hate propaganda into every American home every day for most of a year.

    “Fake news” gave Hillary a half dozen points in the polls and several states.

  9. Fake news didn’t have any effect on me, but I can’t say the same for the kids burning college campuses to keep opposing views from being heard.

    I think without fake news and media bias Hillary not only would not have won a 1/2 dozen states. In fact, she wouldn’t have even gotten the nomination. She wouldn’t have been Secretary of State or a US Senator because Bill would not have survived impeachment for all the things he did.

    It’s good to know what you believe and to in turn act on your values. Fake new didn’t influence me, but be careful! Saying it had no effect is to dismiss the evil that permeates that industry as irrelevant or inconsequential. The outrage over Russias alleged interfence in our election by outing the truth about Hillary and the DNC is nothing to the full knowledge that our press corps seeks to dupe voters into their pet candidates every time we go to the polls.

  10. “Researchers: Fake News Did Not Alter Election Results”

    Oh, and by the way, this is a “Fake News” story.

  11. Oh, did you mean all the news on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and even National Review and Fox? Is that’s the fake news you’re referring too? I didn’t think so.

  12. Hopefully Hilary will keep drinking the ” fake news ” cool aid. The progressive partisans keep believing and trusting the ” fake ” news. Good day and good night.

  13. Drain the swamp lol! More like dig it deeper to make more room . Jobs ? Like the ones in Atlantic City and elsewhere , where the working man gets scewed again by Hoover and his kind of “smart. business man” Let’s just do away with the whole EPA. And while we’re. at it the bunch at foggy bottom , the UN etc .Ironically the folks who can’t stop telling you who won are the same ones whose jobs are never coming back . The Circus isn’t folding , just moving ! Feel bad for my grandkids and their kids ! What will they be left with , a polluted planet or a nuked one but hey billionaires need more billions right ! Don’t forget to keep drinking the kool-aid !

  14. We endured fake news for 8 years, mostly from the lying Obama. He had frequent off the record meetings with the networks and newspapers. The AP always cooked the unemployment numbers, And our economy as constantly in a Recovery. All the state run media gladly told the lies and fake news for their Kardashian, messiah president. The problem was, the jig was up : his lies caught up with him.

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