Fake news did not change result of 2016 election: study

Fake news did not change result of 2016 election: study
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Fake news did not change the result 2016 presidential election, according to a study by researchers at Stanford and New York University released Thursday. 

The study shows that fake news stories favorable to Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Will Mueller play hardball with Trump? Mexican presidential candidate vows to fire back at Trump's 'offensive' tweets Elizabeth Warren urges grads to fight for 'what is decent' in current political climate MORE far outnumbered similar stories about Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump Jr. met with Gulf adviser who offered help to win election: report Voters Dems need aren't impressed by anti-waterboarding showboating After year of investigation, Trump can rightly claim some vindication MORE. But only 8 percent of voters actually read those stories, and even fewer recall or believed what they were reading, researchers said.

Favorable but fake Trump news was shared 30 million times on Facebook during the campaign, while fake pro-Clinton news was shared about 7 million times. 

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"Our data suggest that social media were not the most important source of election news and even the most widely circulated news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans,” lead researchers Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow wrote. 

In order for fake news to have a real effect on the election, it would have had to have been as persuasive as 36 television ads, the study concludes. 

Fake news became so prominent in 2016, Politifact named it "the lie of the year," a dubious award usually reserved for humans. 

"Because of its powerful symbolism in an election year filled with rampant and outrageous lying — PolitiFact is naming Fake News the 2016 'winner.'”