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How the Supply of Fake News Affected Consumer Behavior during the 2016 US Election

Doshi, AR; Raghavan, S; Weiss, R; Petitt, E; (2018) How the Supply of Fake News Affected Consumer Behavior during the 2016 US Election. Social Science Research Network (SSRN): Amsterdam, Netherlands. Green open access

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Abstract

We characterize the effect of fake news on online browsing during the 2016 US presidential election. We estimate that weekday increases of 10 fake news articles — that were confirmed to be false by third-party services — increased the incidence of fake news site visits by 3.0%. To address endogeneity, we employ two approaches that attempt to isolate exogenous variation in fake news supply. We also estimate that weekday 10-article increases in fake news increase the odds of visiting one or more fake news sites by 3.7%. Overall, this evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of fake news production in reaching a diverse set of consumers.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: How the Supply of Fake News Affected Consumer Behavior during the 2016 US Election
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3093397
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: media economics, 2016 US election, fake news
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042799
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