A Study Finds Far-Right Content Is Getting More Attention On Facebook

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : March 6, 2021

The attack on the sixth of January in the U.S. Capitol was done by a group of supporters of QAnon’s extremist ideology which was based on false claims.

The far-right zealots and people convinced of this falsehood in a presidential election that had been lost by the ex-president Donald Trump.

A Study Finds Far-Right Content Is Getting More Attention On Facebook

If there are more avid users of Facebook, their belief systems would have been reaffirmed by this misinformation that is spread across this platform, as per a recent study by the New York University.

A Study Finds Far-Right Content Is Getting More Attention On Facebook

The researchers from this university’s Center for Cybersecurity have found that the far-right content that is generated from the highest engagement — by sharing, clicking, and commenting — for every follower across these partisan groups.

These findings are the part of this larger study which would be submitted from a peer reviewed journal. But the timeliness of this report has motivated the team for releasing some of this information early, as per a PhD candidate and lead researcher Laura Edelson.

Laura and her teams had determined this engagement from the far left and far right news sources which had peaked on the Election Day and sixth of January when the now elected President Joe Biden’s electoral votes were being counted. But, this engagement from the far right content was quite more intense as compared to other news sources.

The researchers which had used various media sources for the categories  of information from the extreme left and right, that were devised by the Media Bias Fact Check and NewsGuard.

But independent data providers stated the news survey of the ecosystem and ratings of the political leanings plus the quality of media.

Edelson said this is what she finds quite discerning in an interview with a news agency. When that is being said it means that even at these crucial moments, the content from various sources which had spread misinformation was quite more engaging than the content from these reliable sources.

These conclusions from the study are quite troublesome and unsurprising at the same time.

These spreading of the false information has risen with the growth of social media platforms. The country is transitioning from a presidential term marred by “alternative facts” and dealing with social networks that shirk responsibility for what is shared on their platforms, as per the scholars.

This study shows the extent of this misinformation problem and the extent of  polarizing of the social media that can be, as per Kurt Braddock, who is an assistant professor at the public communication in the School of Communication at the American University.

This will result from the analysis of the echo in human behavior and how individuals try and seek information, that includes people not wanting to spend a long time about thinking about various things or engaging with different ideas which are quite contrary to the beliefs systems, said by him.

We are trying to seek out various information which affirms the team’s ideas as per said by him. Adding these social media algorithms that track what an individual’s likes and clicks on more than that what is in front of them. This can worsen everyone’s natural tendencies.

Our team is working up to get into different cycles and patterns were the beliefs become so ingrained. The researchers looked at the Facebook pages with greater than 100 followers. It has more than 2.900 information and news from the Media Bias Fact Check and NewsGuard.

After having collected the data of more than 8.6 million posts of the public between the tenth of August to the eleventh of January. This team has concluded from the far-right sources as the spreaders of the misinformation which has an average of more than 426 interactions for every thousand followers per week compared to an average of 259 interactions weekly per thousands of interactions.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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