In a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for BuzzFeed News, 71 percent of self-identifying Democrats surveyed mistook fake news headlines for real stories. Those who identify as Republicans fell for the false headlines at a higher rate, with 84 percent of those surveyed believing they were true.
Read the original report here. (UPDATE: This link goes to Buzzfeed, which confirmed in Jan 2017 that they lack traditional media editorial standards and publish items they are unable to verify as authentic.)
Critically, those who view “Facebook as a major source of news are more likely to view fake news headlines as accurate”.
Fake news is often written as satire, but sometimes it is produced as propaganda. The general goal of most fake news, however, is to drive eyeballs to advertisers. Indeed, that is the goal of much “mainstream” news reporting too, particularly today where every click on every web story is closely monitored, data mined, and used to shape future reporting.
Fake news successfully fools both right and left: