From the Briefing (5 pages; PDF):
We provide a weekly briefing about the spread of misinformation across six social media platforms. For the seven days prior to 26-11-2020 we find:
- The social media distribution network of all articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached just below three billion social media users this week, achieving much greater distribution than state-backed and junk news sources. The average article from state-backed sources reached over 8,400 users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached over 4,700 users and the average junk health article reached over 2,100 users.
- Similarly, aggregate content from mainstream sources gets the largest amount of total user engagement. However, on a per article basis, state-backed news receives over 300 engagements and junk news receives over 1,600, while average articles from mainstream sources get over 200 engagements.
- The most prominent junk news and state-backed topics, in descending order, were accusations of oppression of the political right, photos of the week from Chinese state-backed media, President Xi’s comments at the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit, allegations of electoral fraud in the US, and general coronavirus statistics around the world.
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