Researchers Created Fake News. Here’s What They Found.

Neil Irwin: “Some new research from two economists throws at least a bit of cold water on the theory that false news was a major influence on the election result. They offer some hard data on how pervasive voters’ consumption of fake news really was during the 2016 election cycle. The research also reveals some disturbing truths about the modern media environment and how people make sense of the incoming gush of news.”

“That’s a strong indication about what is going on with consumers of fake news. It may be less that false information from dubious news sources is shaping their view of the world. Rather, some people (about 8 percent of the adult population, if we take the survey data at face value) are willing to believe anything that sounds plausible and fits their preconceptions about the heroes and villains in politics.”

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