Thread Topics of Discussion: The discussion topic of this thread are: What you think about the validity of Faris et al findings as articulated and supported by the researchers' methodology documented in their paper, "Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election." What you think, for news organizations and social media venues, be the implications of Faris et al's findings as expressed in their paper, "Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election." Simply put, the discussion here consists of your opinions about the two above noted aspects of Faris et al's findings. That's it. What are not topics of discussion for this thread? Anything, everything, anyone and everyone that/who is not your thoughts with regard to the very narrowly defined topics stated above. Thread Rules: In expressing your thoughts with regard to either of the thread discussion topics, quote specific passages from "Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election" and follow the passage(s) with your remarks. No posting of remarks that do not directly, clearly and unequivocally address the thread topics of discussion. In other words, follow the rules or don't post anything. No posting of unsupported assertions/opinions. Back-up your remarks with incontrovertible and germane facts. Exception to Rule 3: If you are an expert in a discipline from which you draw/present evidence, attest to that being the case and corroborate your attestation by pointing us to your CV that contains a "bibliography" of your peer-reviewed and published works. Upon doing so, your status as an expert the given discipline(s) will be accepted and your assertions relevant to the discipline(s) in which you are an expert will, without additional support, be construed as "expert 'testimony' that you don't have to support with more than your word." (Note: Your establishing yourself as an expert merely obviates your needing to corroborate your expert assertions. It does not make your assertions unassailable.) Summary of the Study's Key Findings: Last month, Robert Faris et al and the Berkman Klein Center have published findings regarding communication messages, modes and means used in the 2016 presidential election. Faris et al summarize their findings writing: In this study, we analyze both mainstream and social media coverage of the 2016 United States presidential election. We document that the majority of mainstream media coverage was negative for both candidates, but largely followed Donald Trump’s agenda: when reporting on Hillary Clinton, coverage primarily focused on the various scandals related to the Clinton Foundation and emails. When focused on Trump, major substantive issues, primarily immigration, were prominent. Indeed, immigration emerged as a central issue in the campaign and served as a defining issue for the Trump campaign. We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism. Our data supports lines of research on polarization in American politics that focus on the asymmetric patterns between the left and the right, rather than studies that see polarization as a general historical phenomenon, driven by technology or other mechanisms that apply across the partisan divide. The analysis includes the evaluation and mapping of the media landscape from several perspectives and is based on large-scale data collection of media stories published on the web and shared on Twitter. The researchers identify key findings including the following: Donald Trump succeeded in shaping the election agenda. Coverage of Trump overwhelmingly outperformed coverage of Clinton. Clinton’s coverage was focused on scandals, while Trump’s coverage focused on his core issues. Immigration and Muslims/Islam were the two most widely covered substantive issues of the campaign. While coverage of his candidacy was largely critical, Trump dominated media coverage. The media landscape is distinctly asymmetric. The structure of the overall media landscape shows media systems on the left and right operate differently. The asymmetric polarization of media is evident in both open web linking and social media sharing measures. Prominent media on the left are well distributed across the center, center-left, and left. On the right, prominent media are highly partisan. Twitter is a more partisan environment than the open web media landscape. Facebook is more partisan than Twitter. conservative media is more partisan and more insular than the left. Disinformation and propaganda are rooted in partisanship and are more prevalent on social media. Asymmetric vulnerabilities: The right and left were subject to media manipulation in different ways. The more insulated right-wing media ecosystem was susceptible to sustained network propaganda and disinformation...Claims aimed for “internal” consumption within the right-wing media ecosystem were more extreme, less internally coherent, and appealed more to the “paranoid style” of American politics than claims intended to affect mainstream media reporting. The institutional commitment to impartiality of media sources at the core of attention on the left meant that hyperpartisan, unreliable sources on the left did not receive the same amplification that equivalent sites on the right did. The researchers, in part, conclude their summary the most important of their observations: Our clearest and most significant observation is that the American political system has seen not a symmetrical polarization of the two sides of the political map, but rather the emergence of a discrete and relatively insular right-wing media ecosystem whose shape and communications practices differ sharply from the rest of the media ecosystem, ranging from the center-right to the left. Right-wing media were centered on Breitbart and Fox News, and they presented partisan-disciplined messaging, which was not the case for the traditional professional media that were the center of attention across the rest of the media sphere. The right-wing media ecosystem partly insulated its readers from nonconforming news reported elsewhere and moderated the effects of bad news for Donald Trump’s candidacy. While we observe highly partisan and clickbait news sites on both sides of the partisan divide, especially on Facebook, on the right these sites received amplification and legitimation through an attention backbone that tied the most extreme conspiracy sites like Truthfeed, InfoWars, through the likes of Gateway Pundit and Conservative Treehouse, to bridging sites like the Daily Caller and Breitbart that legitimated and normalized the paranoid style that came to typify the right-wing ecosystem in the 2016 election. This attention backbone relied heavily on social media.