Facebookers 2.5 Times More Likely To Read Fake News, Millennials Least Prone


Facebook users are two-and-a-half times more likely to read fake news fed through the social network than news from reputable news publishers, according to a detailed analysis of news consumption traffic conducted by Web analytics firm Jumpshot.

The analysis examined more than 20 popular fake news sites and three reputable ones (The New York Times, CNN and the Huffington Post) and found Facebook referrals accounted for 50% of the user traffic to the fake news sites, but only 20% of the traffic to the reputable ones.

With 79% of its traffic generated from Facebook, “Occupy Democrats” was the No. 1 fake news publisher in terms of referrals from the social network, followed closely by “American News” (78%), and “Addicting Info” (73%).

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By comparison, Huffington Post ranked highest among the actual news sites measured, with 29% of its traffic emanating from Facebook, followed by The New York Times (20%) and CNN (11%).

As interesting as the volume of Facebook fake news consumption patterns are, the composition of fake news users is even more revealing. Surprisingly, fake news consumption was equally divided among red and blue states, but the demographic least likely to click on a fake news feed are Millennials.

In fact, Jumpshot’s analysts found that Millennials are 16% less likely to click on a fake news story from Facebook than the general population.

The analysis, which examined Facebook news referrals among U.S. computer browsers between Sept. 11 and Nov. 15, found that women are far more likely than men to consume fake news feeds.

Women are 30% more likely to visit any kind of news site through Facebook than the average user, and 33% more likely to be referred to a fake news site.
5 comments about "Facebookers 2.5 Times More Likely To Read Fake News, Millennials Least Prone".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, November 25, 2016 at 9:48 a.m.

    Wow, if an anti-Trump site was the #1 fake news site, then why are we reading so many stories from "reputable" sources claiming that Trump won the election because of fake news?

  2. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network replied, November 25, 2016 at 5:50 p.m.

    Sorry, Douglas. If you read the article carefully, you'll clearly see that "Occupy Democrats" was not the "#1 fake news site." As the article states, it was the #1 fake news site in "terms of referrals" from FaceBook.

    Big difference.

  3. Michael Solomon from Media Management, Inc., November 25, 2016 at 1:21 p.m.

    Interesting piece.  I am not sure that the lead conclusion holds true, though, based on the nature of the study?  It is one thing to say that fake news sites garner 2 1/2 times as much of their total traffic from FB as do real news sites, but it's another entirely to say that FB users are 2.5x as likely to read fake news.  The total traffic count from a real news site like The NY Times must be significantly higher (one would hope) than traffic to some of these fake sites.  So 20% of "NYTimes.com" traffic from FB would represent a much higher number of impressions and clicks than say 75% of "TheSkyIsFalling!!!.com" traffic.  Either I'm misunderstanding the findings of the study, or the two conclusions appear to be apples and oranges.

  4. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, November 27, 2016 at 6:52 p.m.

    Good point.  Aside from that, the fact that someone reads fake news doesn't neccesarily mean they believe it.  On the contrary, some people, myself included, love reading stuff on the fake news sites, mainly for the laughs, but also to see what the "other side" is being fed.

    It's also a great way to keep my feelings of intellectual superiority and elite smugness at the proper levels, while allowing my Cabernet to breath a bit. 

  5. Mike Lynn from SPM Marketing & Communications, November 28, 2016 at 4:47 p.m.

    In this study were Millennials less likely to click on any news - fake or real - vs the general pop? If so the lcomparison is not relevant.

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