Disinformation and false news the European elections influence? Fears of such lies and manipulation were high in the European Union – so great that the European Commission presented an action plan in December 2018: Misleading wanted
identify them early with the help of fact checkers, social networks like
Facebook and Twitter should also get involved and campaigns early
to stop. All this should prevent that disinformation campaigns take place in Europe, as they existed before the US elections in 2016.
Now it turns out: Either
This action plan works very well or the worry was exaggerated. A now published study by the Oxford Internet Institute
suggests that false news in social media so far is not a big one
Play a role in the European elections (Neudert et al.
Researchers have 584,062 tweets in Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland
and Sweden evaluated,
which were provided with election hashtags such as #euelections or #european election. Tweets were collected from 15 days in April 2019 for the study. 137658
These tweets contained a URL that pointed to a news page. These shared the
Authors in reputable sources, for example, traditional
Media, and in so-called junk news. The latter are described in the study as "ideologically extreme, misleading and
de facto false information "as an example
the researchers about the German side journalistenwatch.com
or even the American website Breitbart,
Quelle was rated by two developers. Were at odds about whether one
Website rather spread legitimate information or rather wrong, discussed
them about it until they found a consensus.
Only a few tweets link to dubious sources
Study comes to the conclusion that false news on Twitter is not particularly
are common. Not even four percent of all tweets examined referenced
on junk news, in Germany it was even only 2.8 percent. Also linked
in this country ten times more posts on legitimate media than on misleading information
In other countries, junk news sources also made only a small part on Twitter
out. Only in Poland were more links shared to such sites than to
classic media. However, the authors of the study write that the
Traffic there had been very low overall.