Here at Daily Distortions we are trying to expose false and misleading information that has gone viral. We’d also like to give you an idea of how popular this misinformation is in the overall context of social media discussions. Every Friday we will publish a list of the 10 Most Engaging Stories of the Week in the US, as rated by NewsWhip, a company that compiles social media performance data. (NewsWhip tracks the number of responses, shares, and comments each story receives on Facebook, as well as shares on Pinterest and by a group of influential users on Twitter. This week’s data runs from 9:01 am on Friday October 9th. until 9 am on Friday, October 16.
The most viral article on social media this week was one that was Social media companies tried not to go viral.
Facebook said it would reduce the visibility of an unsubstantiated New York Post article about Hunter Biden, son of Joseph R. Biden Jr., until a third party could verify. Twitter initially banned all links to the article, saying it took the move because the article contained images showing private personal information and because it viewed the article as a violation of its rules on the distribution of hacked material. However, the article was still widespread on social media and received more than two million interactions.
Here is the full list of the week’s most exciting stories:
1.New York Post: Smoking Gun Email Reveals Hunter Biden Introduced Ukrainian Businessman VP Dad (2,307,293 interactions)
2. ComicBook.com: Two and a half male star Conchata Ferrell dies at 77 (1,863,725 interactions)
An obituary for Ms. Ferrell, who played Berta the housekeeper in “Two and a Half Men,” was widely circulated by the show’s many fans.
3. Fox News: Rep. Doug Collins Adopts Resolution To Drive Removal Of Pelosi As House Speaker (1,109,988 interactions)
Mr Collins’ resolution claiming that Representative Nancy Pelosi “does not have the mental aptitude” to continue as House Speaker was a largely meaningless symbolic gesture by the opposition. But it was red meat for conservatives on Facebook that Ms. Pelosi is an engagement bait villain for.
4. CNBC: Facebook and Twitter are making editorial decisions to limit the distribution of stories claiming to show “Smoking Gun” emails about Biden and his son (1,032,917 interactions).
5. ET Online: “Dexter” Revival with Michael C. Hall Set for Showtime (960,226 interactions)
Another break with politics, dealing with a planned revival of the hit television show “Dexter,” had nearly a million interactions.
6. The Daily Wire: “Legendary”: Barrett was asked to hold notes to answer questions. She holds up a blank notepad. (881,469 interactions)
The Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett was the subject of two top 10 articles this week. This one from the right news site, The Daily Wire, focused on her blank notepad.
7. Fox News: Judge Amy Coney Barrett stands before Senate confirmation hearing (872,589 interactions)
8th Whitehouse.gov: Columbus Day 2020 proclamation (861,279 interactions)
A White House Columbus Day proclamation addressed to “radical activists” who “have tried to undermine the legacy of Christopher Columbus” was widely spread by right-wing groups on Facebook and by groups like the National Italian American Foundation .
9. Fox News: Pelosi Announces 25th Amendment Bill After Challenging Trump’s Health (795,962 interactions)
10. The New York Times: California Republican Party admits it placed misleading ballot boxes around the state (722,101 interactions)
A Times article about unofficial polls held by Republican activists in California was shared by several major left-wing Facebook pages, including Occupy Democrats and Ridin ’With Biden.