Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Twitter's transparency and accountability. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

A new study from the Knight Foundation found that 80% of the Twitter accounts that spread disinformation during the 2016 election are still active today, publishing “more than a million tweets” a day.

The big picture: Twitter has announced repeatedly — even as recently as Monday — it has plans in place to lock and shut down fake news accounts. But those accounts continue to reach millions of people on Twitter as midterm elections loom.

By the numbers: More than 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 fake and conspiracy news outlets were examined. The study, one of the largest to date, analyzed how fake news spread on Twitter both during and after the 2016 election.

  • Of the 10 million tweets analyzed, more than 6.6 million tweets were associated with fake news and conspiracy news publishers in the month before the 2016 election.
  • After the election, 4 million tweets were linked to fake and conspiracy news.
  • Sixty-five percent of fake and conspiracy news links during the election went to just the 10 largest sites.
  • Nine of the top 10 fake news sites during the month before the election were still in or near the top 10 six months later.
  • Most accounts spreading fake or conspiracy news are estimated to be bots or semi-automated accounts — the type of accounts Twitter promised to disable.
Key takeaways
  • Fake accounts became more right-leaning after President Trump won the election. Left and liberal-centric accounts were more prevalent before the election.
  • Russian propaganda and bots had a hand in the the accounts that spread conspiracy and fake content. However, much of the intent to spread disinformation was attributed to American accounts.
  • Accounts both before and after the election that spread fake or conspiracy news formed a dense core of accounts that follow each other.

Twitter's global vice president of trust and safety Del Harvey: "This study was built using our public API and therefore does not take into account any of the actions we take to remove automated or spammy content and accounts from being viewed by people on Twitter. We do this proactively and at scale, every single day."

A silver lining: Fake news still receives significantly fewer links than mainstream media sources at 13% compared to 37% of the links received by regional newspapers.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.