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Facebook is playing a role in what news gets read online as people use the Internet's most popular hangout to share and recommend content.

That's according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Facebook funneled an average of 3 percent of traffic to 21 major news sites that allowed the data to be tracked. The report is based on an analysis of Internet traffic data compiled by the research firm Nielsen Co. during the first nine months of last year.

That's still small compared with Google Inc.'s media clout. Pew says Google's dominant search engine supplies about 30 percent of traffic to the top news site.

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