American political fake news on Facebook was shown nearly 159 million times in the first ten months of 2019, action group Avaaz reported in a recently published study.
Avaaz looked at the hundred most popular Facebook messages that were deceived by independent fact checkers. It appeared that these messages were displayed 158.9 million times and yielded 8.9 million likes, comments and shares.
These included fake news claiming that the grandfather of US President Donald Trump was a pimp and tax avoider. The same report also incorrectly stated that Trumps father would be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The message was displayed 29.2 million times.
An untruth about Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic president in the House of Representatives, yielded 24.6 million views. The report said that Pelosi had stolen $ 2.4 billion (about $ 2.2 billion) to pay for Trump's removal proceedings.
The majority of the fake news was negative. Of these, 62 percent were about Democrats or liberal views and 29 percent were about Republicans or conservative views. A small portion of the fake news was positive and praised the Republicans or conservatives.
According to Avaaz, the measures that Facebook takes against the spread of fake news are insufficient. Among other things, the company works with independent fact checkers who can mark untruths. In the Netherlands, NU.nl works with Facebook to detect disinformation.