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.
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.