Political science: Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Nir Grinberg, Kenneth Joseph, Lisa Friedland, Briony Swire-Thompson, David Lazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

430 Scopus citations


The spread of fake news on social media became a public concern in the United States after the 2016 presidential election.We examined exposure to and sharing of fake news by registered voters on Twitter and found that engagement with fake news sources was extremely concentrated. Only 1% of individuals accounted for 80% of fake news source exposures, and 0.1% accounted for nearly 80% of fake news sources shared. Individuals most likely to engage with fake news sources were conservative leaning, older, and highly engaged with political news. A cluster of fake news sources shared overlapping audiences on the extreme right, but for people across the political spectrum, most political news exposure still came from mainstream media outlets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
Issue number6425
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


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