back to article Zuckerberg says just one per cent of news on Facebook is fake

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has denied that Facebook's facilitation of fake news influenced the United States presidential election result. Commentators have pondered Facebook's role in the election after it was shown to allow free circulation of untrue stories – some lurid - created solely to generate advertising revenue …

  1. cirby

    This is hilarious...

    They made such a big deal about the pro-Trump and anti-Clinton stuff being made up, but they completely ignore the insane amount of anti-Trump and pro-Democrat postings that sailed right on by.

    1. Steve Knox Silver badge

      Re: This is hilarious...

      That's because people are generally upset by things that aren't true.

      1. William 3 Bronze badge

        Re: This is hilarious...

        I forget that when a liberal says something it's true, because a liberal said it.

  2. Paul

    12 percent oc statistics on the internet are entirely made up

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Not so. Its actually 23.476913333333 %

  3. Steve Knox Silver badge

    Can't Be Zuckerberg Saying This.

    He's dead -- Facebook told me so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't Be Zuckerberg Saying This.

      Obviously Zuckerberg is one of the 1%.

      The more he speaks, the more I wonder: Does this clown really have any technical proficiency or is he some sort of idiot savant?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Can't Be Zuckerberg Saying This.

        Does this clown really have any technical proficiency or is he some sort of idiot savant?

        The definition of savant: "a learned person, especially a distinguished scientist." You were doing good right up to the last word.

      2. Trilkhai

        Re: Can't Be Zuckerberg Saying This.

        An 'idiot savant' is somebody that is extremely gifted at a single thing/field and mediocre at everything else. I can't speak for you, but I've never gotten the impression that Zuck is a technological genius, regardless of what hardcore Fa(r)cebook fans believe.

      3. jonfr

        Re: Can't Be Zuckerberg Saying This.

        Mark Zuckerberg is an idiot, a lucky one, because normally this type of people live in a card box somewhere. His regards for the social network that he created is mind boggling sometimes. At Facebook they are not doing anything to stop fake news. I suspect that it is only going to get worse as the time passes. I do hope that Facebook starts to get unpopular and die off like any other social network before it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I preferred when everything on the internet was bullshit, and everyone knew that it was.

  5. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Details Below

    * For Facebook's definition of "true" or "false"

    ** For Facebook's definition of "percent."

    *** Your mileage may vary.

    **** Some (dis)assembly required.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is all

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I saw far more than 1%

    Perhaps they're excluding the fake news stories from CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Bloomberg, AP, Breitbart, the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc., etc., etc.

    I'm not sure if you have it any better in the UK, but by and large the "journalists" over here are more or less paid-by-a-third-party (the so-called "news" organizations) PR flacks for either the Democrats (mostly) or Republicans (the rest).

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: I saw far more than 1%

      I think what is being discussed is not news that's actually sourced that some people might not like the slant of, but stuff that is completely made up - with stuff like bogus newspapers claimed as the source. i.e. the difference between what a Trump supporter thinks of MSNBC / Clinton supporter thinks of Fox News versus a typical National Enquirer headline.

      1. enormous c word

        Re: I saw far more than 1%

        So 1% of news content on FB is b*llsh*t. So that must mean the other 99% is just plain old sh*t.

        Pretty amazing way to make a living - shovelling so much sh*t on the masses that they can't tell the sh*t from the b*llsh*t any more.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So anything from Brietbart then?

    fair enough. Thanks for the warning

  9. Ole Juul Silver badge


    Could it be that Facebook users are self selecting for gullibility?

    1. Trilkhai

      Re: skewness

      Based on my extended family, there definitely seems to be an inverse link between how much a person uses Facebook and how strong their critical thinking skills are.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: skewness

        People don't go to Facebook with the intention of looking for news, and because something was shared by their friends they tend to give it more credence - perhaps assuming their friend wouldn't have shared it if wasn't legit.

        It is interesting that back when the internet was fairly new to the average person 20 years ago, and media was starting to report on it, they had a lot of talking heads saying how it would make the world a smaller place because people could be exposed to viewpoints from all over, and not just the narrow set of those found where they live. Unfortunately it has worked the other way, and many people self-select their friends and get a far narrower set of viewpoints than they get even from their neighbors!

        It is only made worse by people becoming angry when they are exposed to different viewpoints. They see "liberal media bias" in the stories Facebook promotes if some of them are liberal. They unfriend people for sharing positive stories about Trump. Facebook aids in this by giving people more of what they "like" so if they like a lot of stories from Breibart, they'll see more of them than someone who likes a lot of stories from HuffPo, so it is no wonder people were so surprised about the election results. Clinton supporters can't believe she lost. Trump supporters can't believe he didn't win in a landslide. Thanks to Facebook they are so insulated they think almost everyone agrees with them, it is only a tiny fringe in NYC/SF that supported Clinton, or just a few racist KKK members in the backwoods that supported Trump.

        Zuckerberg is probably right that deliberately faked stories on the National Enquirer level didn't affect the election. He's wrong if he thinks that Facebook's algorithms aren't contributing towards making the polarization of people in the US even worse than the internet in general was already.

  10. Originone

    "... more than 99% of what people see is authentic"

    Surely the relevant statistic for this discussion would be what percentage of new posts that related to the election were "authentic"?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      How to lie with statistics

      "... more than 99% of what people see is authentic"

      Surely the relevant statistic for this discussion would be what percentage of new posts that related to the election were "authentic"?

      Even more relevant is the size of the audience for that 1%*. If even 0.1% of a particular category of news is read more than 10 times as often, or rather influences more than 10 times as many readers than any other category on average, then it's (tadaah) more influential. Which is what actually matters.

      * taking that number to represent whatever portion of "news" on farcebook is not rooted in verifiable real-world events.

  11. Winkypop Silver badge


    People take anything on FB seriously?


    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: What?


      People take seriously the things that are "shared" by friends - especially in the absence of any kind of external "reality check". Further, people do not search for external verification of either; things they've been told by those friends, things that agree with their existing beliefs, or things that exacerbate their pre-existing fears and insecurities ( by and large these categories tend to overlap).

  12. Captain DaFt

    Let's go to a dictionary!

    "... more than 99% of what people see is authentic"

    And look up this word "authentic" to see what Zuck means.

    Ah! Definition 2b:

    b : conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features <an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse>

    So Facebook's news is crafted to look right the real thing then?

    The 1% he's complaining about must be actual news that slipped through then.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Richard 12 Silver badge

    So where us the "This is fake" report category?

    As I can't find it.

    There is a "scam" and a "spam", but no "fake". Thus his proposition cannot have any research behind it.

    Facebook seems to class all posts as "stories", and most photos of food are real. The "news" posts could be 99% false.

  15. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Right and wrong at the same time

    > Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic

    While the big Z is correct, he ignores or doesn't understand that the other 1% is very, very, influential. It also spreads wider and faster than the 99% of dross which is cat videos, stooopid quizzes and facist rants from cranky old people.

    It isn't the volume of crap that makes up Facebook which is important, it's the tiny amount of stuff which professional manipulators (or media companies if you want to get picky) post with the sole intention of changing people's opinions. Those companies are very good at what they do, and their material is targeted at the gullible, impressionable and easily persuaded.

    While it is small proportion, it is read widely and reposted often. I would bet that if Z counted the likes or number of reads that fake "news" gets, those stories would be in the top 50 posts every day of the week.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Right and wrong at the same time

      facist rants from cranky old people

      - But those are 'trending' (bleugh) right now....

  16. Jc (the real one)

    A lot may depend on what Zuckerberg calls "news"

    On the run up to the UK EU referendum, several people told me that the reason the UK National Flag isn't being seen flying these days is "because the EU banned flying it". Not believing this...I checked...the EU has no such rule... but when questioned, I was poo-poo'd saying that "it must be true, everyone on FaceBook says so".

    Maybe not technically "news"... but was repeated often enough for people without the intelligence, or the will, to check just believed it to be true!


    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Reminds me of reading about Goebbels and the "Big Lie". "when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it."

  17. the-it-slayer

    Definition it up...

    Zuckerberg should look up the definition of news before making up his own news...

    This load of crap got posted around a lot on social media and even though plenty of "respectful" news sources debunked it a long time ago, it still goes around. (link)

  18. Teiwaz Silver badge


    "Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news.”

    - They may say they want accurate news, but what most people thrive on is scandal, something to get the blood up, and most of the really juicy stuff comes from Twitter.

    'Good news will wait, bad news will refuse to wait'

    As for the first part of the quote, when I opened a Facebook account, I honestly filled in my likes, only to be bombarded with trivia until I felt I no longer liked what I'd liked. I also found people I knew bored the hell out of me on facebook.

  19. anywherething

    Surely even getting rid of 1% fake news still leaves way too much crap?

  20. TeeCee Gold badge


    Then again. if everything posted on farceberk were pro-Trump bullshit, it still wouldn't be enough to counterbalance the tsunami of "OMFG! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE IF TRUMP GETS IN!!!111!!!!!" hysteria from every celebutard on the entire planet.

  21. Dan 55 Silver badge

    If FB know it's 1%

    Then they know which articles they are so they could have deleted them/marked them as unreliable sources.

    Or they're just making up statistics.

  22. hoola
    Thumb Down

    Fake, Wrong or Misleading

    I am not sure where Zuck gets is information from but any site that permits anyone to post unverified (and often unverifiable) information that is classed as "News" can have not way or stating "1% of news if fake".

    Given that amount of cr@p that is out there, I would assume that closer to 1% is accurate.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has denied that Facebook's facilitation of fake news influenced the United States presidential election result."

    So, is that an example of the 1% or the 99%?

  24. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Facebook... nope, I use Daily Sport for my news

    Or at least did when it was still around.. much better pictures

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He didn't have to prove it

    This is part of the fake one percent yeah?

  26. TheJokker

    It looks like the New York Times and the Washington Post are guilty of fake news considering how very wrong they were...

  27. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    SNL calls it!

    Love Chris Rocks line; "You got a big day of moping and writing on Facebook tomorrow!"

    1. Dave Hilling

      Re: SNL calls it!

      Day?? At the rate most of them are going it will be years.....Trump wasn't my choice either (3rd party) but my god what a bunch of babies. They all of a sudden think they can change the laws of america just because they didn't like the outcome....Hence all the petitions and crap like that'll

      Other than that the skit was comedy gold.

  28. tom dial Silver badge

    For practical purposes I do not use Facebook, and in particular, I neither post nor seek out political news there.

    That said, I think Facebook is getting something of a bad rap in this. The user provided political "news," probably better be called rumor in many cases, almost certainly is protected speech (in the USA) under the first amendment. As long as they are only a transmitter of the material they probably are pretty much in the clear, even if the material is false or misleading

    They are entitled to suppress it if they wish, because they are not a government entity, but doing so will make some of their users unhappy. We already have seen an instance of this in their temporary removal of the famous picture of the nude Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack. Censoring their users' political opinions, even because they are false or inaccurate, certainly will encourage discontent, as many people get pretty worked up about such things. It also is likely to lay them open to complaints, and possibly lawsuits if they begin to censor and fail, as is inevitable, to identify everything they need to. They will be better off letting the political stuff go except for clear and direct threats and the relatively small number of other first amendment exceptions.

  29. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    The Clintonites need to stop blaming everyone else.

    LOL, the Democrats are just desperate to blame anyone except themselves for Trump's victory. The truth is Hillary lost the election. The Republicans didn't convert thousands of Democrats into Trump supporters, the Republican voting figures hardly changed between Romney in 2012 and Trump in 2016, whereas Hillary's figures are way down on Obama's. It's that simple - people that wanted to vote for Obama didn't for Hillary Clinton. The truth is what Bernie's supporters said all along (and the biased DNC ignored), that Hillary Clinton was simply too unpopular with Democrats, let alone Republicans or floating voters. The media and pollsters simply reported what they wanted to see and didn't dig any deeper into the views of voters, especially not the Republicans they constantly ridiculed. Johnathan Pie's hilarious rant against his fellow Clinton supporters sums it up nicely (WARNING, NSFW, or for Democrats outside a "safe space").

  30. Grunchy

    One thing to thank Trump for

    For inventing the issue of FAKE NEWS.

    The issue is irrelevant anyway, people by and large don't care about 'factually truthful' things. Sad fact of the Universe.

    Us 'sheeple' mostly rely on trusted reporters to find out & interpret the facts for us, then we just follow who is the most impassioned & persuasive. That's the bottom line.

    That's the entire reason behind the continued existence of things such as: alternative medicine; every kind of religion; multi level marketing schemes; every kind of voodoo fortune-telling mystics; gasoline additive companies; all 'luxury' marques; just about every crazy conspiracy theorist; the entire premise of Facebook; holocaust deniers; the list is practically endless.

    The greatest power is the power of persuasiveness (which is fueled, incidentally, by 'intensely believing your own bullcrap'). You would hope people would temper that power, but we are each born into this universe a wee little person in an infinitude of possibility and a singular viewpoint, and intense self-serving instinct. I will murder you so I can eat that Taco, sucka!

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