U.S. group says misinformation on the rise on Facebook

Most of the false news sources were individual users or non-official political pages

An advocacy group tracking misinformation says it has found an increase in fake political news shared on Facebook ahead of the 2020 presidential elections.

The group, Avaaz, said Wednesday that it found that viral misinformation is still being spread on the social network despite measures Facebook has put in place since the 2016 elections. The researchers tracked the 100 most widely shared false news stories between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1 this year. The stories they tracked had all been fact-checked and debunked by Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners, which include The Associated Press.

The group found that, collectively, the fake stories were posted more than 2.3 million times and had an estimated 158.9 million views, along with 8.9 million likes, comments and shares. The false stories targeted both political parties, though Avaaz says the majority were against Democrats and liberals.

Most of the false news sources were individual users or non-official political pages. Avaaz, a left-leaning online advocacy group, said stories it found spreading even after they were debunked included one falsely claiming that President Donald Trump’s grandfather was a pimp and a tax evader and that his father was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. That story had an estimated 29 million views. Another story falsely claiming that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar attended an al-Qaeda training camp had an estimated 770,000 views.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report late Tuesday.

Avaaz said in the report that the findings are the “tip of the iceberg of disinformation” ahead of the 2020 elections.

ALSO READ: FTC fines Facebook $5B, adds limited oversight on privacy

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Missing hunter located by Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

The hunter went missing after being separated from his partner around 5:30 p.m. on Monday

$30K legacy coming to City of Kelowna from BC 55+ Games

A $60,000 surplus from the games will be split between the city and the BC Games Society

Okanagan teenagers found after missing for four days

The pair, believed to be dating, had been missing since Nov. 15.

Affordable housing waitlist increases by 109 per cent since 2012: RCDO report

Out of the waitlist, 38 per cent are seeking seniors housing

Downtown Kelowna Library sponsors Sugarplum Ball

The Sugarplumball is part of the OUT in the Valley festival in November

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Student tells B.C. Supreme Court she wasn’t allowed to leave Indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Tuesday

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Penticton artist brings joy to others through her painting

Hedy Munawych is 96 years old and just loves painting the beauty of the world around her.

UPDATE: Two-vehicle Okanagan crash sends one to hospital

Vernon accident that happened just before 5 p.m. in middle of city

Kamloops woman sues Armstrong IPE for Slingshot mishap

Woman claims ride gone wrong caused injury, loss of wages and other damages

Most Read