Despite major campaigns against “fake news” across Europe, a new study has revealed that fake news tweets made up a mere 0.01 percent of the 60 million tweets during the 2017 French presidential campaign.
In 2017, researchers at the Institut des Systèmes Complexes (CNRS) and the Centre for Social Analysis and Mathematics (CNRS / EHESS) launched a project labelled “Politoscope” to analyze Twitter posts during the presidential election.
With the help of French newspaper Le Monde, the researchers were able to show that only 0.0081% of the 60 million tweets linked to fake news, the CNRS said in a press release this week.
The research team, led by David Chavalarias, used Le Monde’s “Decodex” news verification tool and determined that fake news had much less of an impact on the general discourse on Twitter than many previously believed.
“Of the 60 million tweets collected, we collected only 4,888 tweets with a link referenced as false information by the decoders of Le Monde, or 0.0081%,” Chavalarias said but added that fake news came from, “certain political communities and not isolated accounts.”
The researcher singled out conservative Republican candidate Francois Fillon’s supporters as being behind 50.75 percent of the fake news tweets with followers of populist candidate Marine Le Pen being responsible for 22.21 percent of the total tweets.
Chavalarias added that the study did not differentiate between activists or online trolls who may have been spreading fake news for personal enjoyment.
Critics Warn French Plans to Censor Fake News ‘Despotic’ https://t.co/PanwYZaYfj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 15, 2018
The study’s results echo information put out by social media giant Facebook that quashed claims of Russian interference in the Brexit vote when they revealed Russians had spent a mere 73p on ads during the campaign.
Despite fake news being on the fringe of the political campaign, French President Emmanuel Macron passed two laws in July to combat false information. The new laws were roundly slammed by many including philosopher Alain de Benoist who compared them to the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s novel 1984.
“And let’s not forget that the mainstream media, which today prides itself on ‘debunking’ fake news among others, had always been the first to relay government lies such as Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction,” De Benoist said.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com