On The Young Turks, Angelo Carusone explains the new fake news and misinformation ecosystem

From the October 21 edition of TYT Network's The Young Turks

ANGELO CARUSONE (MEDIA MATTERS PRESIDENT): But I think just to take a step back because I think that will explain how it all fits together is -- we did a lot of, early on, to look at what is the fake news problem? What do the people talk about? That's what they really mean. And we found that there's this framework that I think helps understand the landscape today, which is most of that misinformation is coming from the same places, at least the ideas for it. It's these online communities like 4chan and 8chan, which are really functioning like virtual publications now. They're actually creating and driving a lot of what become narratives. And then you sort of have this second layer of storytellers, which are largely websites that are not designed for ideological purposes, but just to get a mild traffic here or there.

And then the third piece is this distribution network and what we found is an asymmetry, that on Facebook alone conservative leaning, right-leaning sites -- communities are two and a half times the size of the aggregated amount of left-leaning ones. It's just crazy to think about, right? I mean we indexed all of them. And that is the fundamental asymmetry alone. And what -- if you think about how that fits into sort of the fake news problem, that's how you can have a lot of the story go viral and have the saturation that it does because there is this constellation of hyper-ideological communities.


I mean, if you go back, I cannot tell you how many times you can trace very specific Fox News segments or even Donald Trump tweets to a 4chan thread from two days ago.


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