AB-Inside a Fake News Sausage Factory: ‘This Is All About Income,’”

By March 24, 2018comp-5005, Data science
Annotated bibliography

Inside a Fake News Sausage Factory: ‘This Is All About Income,’”

Andrew Higgins, Mike McIntire and Gabriel J.X. Dance ( 25 November  2016)

Paper’s reference in the IEEE style?

A. Higgins, M. McIntire, and G. J. X. Dance, “Inside a Fake News Sausage Factory: ‘This Is All About Income,’” The New York Times, 25-Nov-2016.

How did you find the paper?

Referenced from a summary blog site which was found by searching for ‘fake news’:

If applicable, write a list of the search terms you used.

  1. fake news

Was the paper peer reviewed? Explain how you found out.

This is an article from The New York Times and would have been subject to editorial review

Does the author(s) work in a university or a government-funded research institute? If so, which university or research institute? If not, where do they work?

The authors are New York Times reporters

What does this tell you about their expertise? Are they an expert in the topic area?


What was the paper about?

This article reported on the production and sharing of fake news during the 2016 US presidential election.  In the reported examples, the motivation was largely financial.  People set up fake new web sites and facebook pages, shared partisan, biased or false news, in order to drive traffic to their websites from which they sold Google ads.

One story shared on a site operated out of Georgia reported that Mexico would close its borders if Trump won the election.  The website operator quoted “Nobody really believes that Mexico is going to close its border, This is crazy”.  This story was third most trafficked fake news story on Facebook between May and July 2016.  This website’s best month, which coincided with the Mexico story, brought in around $6,000 in revenue.

These websites appeared to have predominantly shared positive information about Trump or negative information about Clinton, as Trump supports demonstrated a lot of energy and love promoting stories they like.

If applicable, is this paper similar to other papers you have read for this assignment? If so, which papers and why?

Related to the paper  “Beyond Misinformation: Understanding and Coping with the “Post-Truth” Era” http://skyentific.me/beyond-misinformation-understanding-and-coping-with-the-post-truth-era/.

This paper identifies that bias’ and beliefs are reinforced by disinformation and that the reinforcement is extremely difficult to reverse.

If applicable, is this paper different to other papers you have read for this assignment? If so, which papers and why?


What do these similarities and differences suggest? What are your observations? Do you have any new ideas? Do you have any conclusions?

This article illustrated the financial driver behind some fake news sites.  For the examples reported, there was little if any malicious intent, rather the intent was purely to provide articles which would emotionally engage with the audience and which would be shared widely.

Fake news is not just an issue of propaganda.  If there there is a purely financial motive, news producers are merely seeking to achieve an emotional reaction, regardless of the truth.  The emotional reaction most likely going to be maximised when the news feeds pre-existing bias’, and will likely further deepen these beliefs.

This question is to be answered after your critical analysis is completed: Which sections (if any) of your critical analysis was this paper cited in?