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Here at Daily Distortions, we try to debunk false and misleading information that has gone viral. We also want to give you a sense of how popular that misinformation is, in the overall context of what is being discussed on social media.
On Fridays, we feature lists of the 10 most-engaged stories of the week in the United States, as ranked by NewsWhip, a firm that compiles social media performance data. (NewsWhip tracks the number of reactions, shares and comments each story receives on Facebook, along with shares on Pinterest and by a group of influential users on Twitter.) This week’s data runs from 9:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, until 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.
The election is over, but you wouldn’t know it from social media.
All week, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been filled with highly engaged stories about President Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of his unsuccessful re-election bid. Some of these stories have presented utterly false claims about vote-deleting computer programs and imaginary military raids. Others — like the winner of this week’s list, a story by the right-wing outlet The Daily Wire about a Georgia county that found uncounted votes during the state’s recount — simply blow minor discrepancies in vote tabulations out of proportion. (The missing votes were the result of a reporting error, and there were nowhere near enough of them to make up for Mr. Biden’s lead in Georgia. State officials have since certified the election results, reaffirming Mr. Biden’s victory after finding no evidence of widespread voter fraud.)
Despite the surfeit of election-related news, the top 10 stories by engagement on social media this week were only roughly half about politics. The other half? A mixture of news about the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas specials (which will be shown on TV this year after all, thank goodness), a greenlit sequel to the superhero movie “Constantine” (starring Keanu Reeves), a story about a former MasterChef Junior winner who died of cancer at age 14, and a story about a trio of Black triplets who graduated from high school with 4.0 grade point averages.
Here is the full list:
The Daily Wire: BREAKING: Second Georgia County Finds Thousands More Votes, Majority Are For Trump (1,128,503 interactions)
Screenrant: Keanu Reeves’ Constantine 2 Is Happening, Says Star (873,362 interactions)
ComicBook.com: ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ and Christmas Specials To Air on Broadcast TV After All (869,846 interactions)
CNN: Joe Biden becomes first Democrat in 28 years to win Georgia (772,833 interactions)
The Blaze: Candace Owens sues Facebook fact checkers for defamation: ‘Time to fact-check the fact checkers’ (663,117 interactions)
Los Angeles Times: The holidays are saved! Charlie Brown specials will air on PBS after all (628,685 interactions)
CNN: Georgia nearing completion of statewide ballot audit, official says (537,081 interactions)
Washington Post: Georgia’s secretary of state says fellow Republicans are pressuring him to find ways to exclude legal ballots (528,379 interactions)
HuffPost: ‘MasterChef Junior’ Star Ben Watkins Dies At Age 14 (508,233 interactions)
Black Enterprise: Triplets Who Graduated Summa Cum Laude With 4.0 GPAs Honored By Their High School (507,260 interactions)
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: What went viral this week.