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Facebook seeing increased misinformation ahead of 2020: study
The number of fake political news stories on Facebook has surged as the 2020 presidential race heats up, according to Avaaz, a global advocacy group that tracks misinformation.
The group, which released its findings on the issue Wednesday, looked at the 100 most-viral fake political stories on Facebook in 2019. In total, those 100 stories were posted more than 2.3 million times and grossed an estimated 158.9 million views. For comparison, just under 140 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election.
According to Avaaz's report, fake news stories that went against Democrats and liberals made up 62 percent of the total stories and drew 104 million views. Twenty-nine percent of the fake stories went against Republicans or conservatives and were seen 49 million times. The remaining 9 percent featured pro-Republican content.
Over half of the views (84 million) have come in the past three months, the group says.
"Every American who cares about free and fair elections in 2020, including the candidates and political parties, should be sounding the alarm about Facebook's fake news problem," Avaaz's campaign director Fadi Quran said in the report.
"This is a company that can easily reach every voter in this country, and their tools are accelerating a wave of political lies that leaves us less informed and more polarized."