University of Colorado study finds fake news twice as influential as fact-checking sites
June 20, 2017
To the detriment of reality and facts, fake news outlets had around twice as much influence on the media landscape as fact-checking websites from 2014 to 2016, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Colorado researcher.
Fake news websites — sites that look credible but are not actually real media organizations, according to assistant professor Chris Vargo of CU's College of Media, Communication and Information — outpaced fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes, both in terms of articles produced each month and their influence on the broader media agenda during the study's two-year timeline.
Vargo attributed part of the phenomenon to the vast sea of choices available to news consumers — some credible, some posing as such, and some wading in the middle. He reflected on decades past, when people only had a few choices when it came to news: a couple of television stations, a local and national newspaper, and a magazine or two.