Fake news has certainly been a hot topic in America lately. While most of the fake news outrage has been centered on the political arena, it is an issue that greatly impacts individuals and organizations globally. I recently sat down to figure out just how big the fake news problem is. Here are a few of the most interesting (and alarming) fake news statistics I was able to dig up. As always, be sure to check back in the future as I will be updating this post as new and updated stats become available.
Please note that some of these numbers are easier to find than others. The statistics are from news reports and not necessarily scientific tallies. Basically, this is the best I can find and I don’t guarantee anything to be 100% accurate.
It is also worth noting that, for the purposes of this post, I am using the traditional definition of fake news (intentionally made up stories) rather than the recently expanded and muddied definition that both sides of the political spectrum have been using to explain off news reports that don’t favor their side.
Fake News Statistics and Facts:
Increase in usage of the term “fake news” in 2017:
“Fake News” is the Collins Word of the Year for 2017.
Percentage of the top-performing fake news stories on Facebook in 2016 that were about US Politics:
Number of shares, reactions and comments on fake news articles about US politics on Facebook in 2016:
Number of shares, comments and reactions for the top performing fake news article on Facebook in 2016:
Research showed that fake news headlines about the 2016 US elections fooled American adults 75% of the time.
Amount that Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, recently donated to fight fake news:
Number of Facebook ads that have been tied back to the Russian entity “Internet Research Agency” between 2015 and 2017:
Estimated number of people that saw fake Russian ads on Facebook during and after the 2016 elections:
Last updated 10/2/17
Amount that fake Facebook advertisers reportedly spent on ads between June 2015 and May 2017:
2018 Mid-Term Election Interference Stats:
- Number of pages Facebook has removed for attempting to interfere in the midterms: 32
- Number of people those pages were followed by: 290,000
- Number of posts on these pages: 9,500
- Amount spent by these pages in ads on Facebook: $11,000
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