Will Oremus @WillOremus Oh-REE-mus. Senior writer for OneZero (@ozm) covering platforms, algorithms, privacy, and online speech. Raising Delawareness since 2018. DM for Signal. Oct. 31, 2019 1 min read

In today's @nytimes, Aaron Sorkin blasts Mark Zuckerberg for not fact-checking political ads.

Ironically, it seems no one fact-checked Sorkin's own column, which falsely claims that half of Americans say Facebook is their main source of news.  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/opinion/aaron-sorkin-mark-zuckerberg-facebook.html 

Data from @pewresearch consistently shows that a plurality of Americans get news most often from television, with about one in five turning to social media for news on a regular basis.  https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/12/10/social-media-outpaces-print-newspapers-in-the-u-s-as-a-news-source/ 

I've written in the past about this particular bit of misinformation, where it came from, and why it persists. I suspect the deeper reason people keep citing it is the same reason misinformation flourishes on Facebook: It supports their preconceptions.  https://slate.com/technology/2016/12/how-many-people-really-get-their-news-from-facebook.html 

To be clear, it is quite possible that more Americans are relying on Facebook as their main news source without realizing it. But Sorkin's claim was that 50% *say* Facebook is their main news source, which is just not true.

I'll be curious to see if @nytopinion either explains where Sorkin's data is coming from or adds a second correction to his story, which also apparently misstated the year his own movie was released.

Or a third correction! It's almost like checking facts isn't a strength of Facebook's *or* Aaron Sorkin's.

Update: The @nytimes has now corrected all three of the Aaron Sorkin factual errors noted in this thread. Good for them.

You can follow @WillOremus.


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