Breitbart was a unique driver of hyper-partisan, trumpist news that shifted the 2016 election


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/06/weaponized-confirmation-bias.html


#2

but it seems it remains a US-centric network, the expansion to France and Germany was announced rather loud and proud, but so far nothing happened. they planned to play a part in the French presidential election, but this is rather unlikely without a local presence less than 2 months before the date.

for teh lulz: breitbart.fr shows a cactus, breitbartnews.de redirects to an anti-right satire page (breitbart.de is a web hoster with no interest in handing over the web presence)


#3

Quelle surprise.


#4


#5

Since the analysis seems to be based largely on twitter shares, I wonder how heavily this was influenced by Twitterbots. As I look through my feed and see the responses to many of the tweets, I’m astounded by the sheer number of users whose entire twitter persona revolves around pro-Trump, pro-right wing tweets.

These are accounts tweeting dozens, if not hundreds of times per day and, within minutes of a story popping up, they’re quick with a response that is in line with all of the other accounts that consist of almost exclusively pro-Trump tweets. You might argue that they’re all drinking from the same hose (and repeating), but the whole thing seems pretty fishy to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in the Deep South and live in Atlanta. I know plenty of Trump supporters. But very few of them use Twitter, and the ones that do only use it sporadically. The usage volume from the accounts that I suspect are bots exceed the rates of the heavy users I know in the tech world. Plus, there are no non-right wing tweets. No pictures of kids. No tweets about school, or food, or TV shows. None of the stuff you see from actual people.

I think that Breitbart probably began using twitterbots, paid an agency to set up fake accounts, or did some combination of the two within the last couple of years. I suspect they probably did it to increase their reach and grow their traffic. I think they’ve used the same approach with the Trump campaign and presidency. It would be interesting to see a review of Breitbart Twitter shares over the past few years to see if there was an obvious jump in traffic.


#6

When I closed my Facebook account (er, 6 years ago I think?) and never signed up for Twitter, my reason revolved around my privacy. Since then, the reasons have just stacked and stacked and show no signs of slowing down.


#7

What about calling it mechanically reclaimed news?

You know, after the mystery meat.


#8

I just find it incredibly ironic how quickly the Right co-opted the term “fake news,” initially coined, if memory serves, to describe patently false “news” stories written by professionals and distributed on Facebook. Wow these people work fast! :worried:


#9

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