Monday, May 21, 2018

Trump Not Brexit Drove the Interest in Fake News

The number of articles written about fake news exploded in November 2016 after the election of Donald Trump. The data below from BuzzSumo shows that there were over 10,000 articles about fake news published in November 2016 alone.

It is often assumed that Brexit also drove the interest in fake news but there were very few articles about the topic until immediately prior to the U.S. presidential election. There were relatively few articles published band these gained little interest. In June 2016 not a single article about fake news gained more than 1,000 social engagements (shares, likes and comments).

In July 2016 an article about Naomi Wolf saying Americans have to wake up to fake news published by YourNewsWire was the first such article to gain over 10,000 social engagements.

Since the presidential election there has been an explosion of interest with many individual articles being shared over 200,000 times on social media. The most shared article to date was NPR's "Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts" which has had over 420,000 social engagements to date.