Fake News owns Twitter, well according to a new study that is the case. Three researchers at MIT published a story in Science that points out that “fake news” travels faster, further and deeper and more broadly and it’s not bots doing the work but humans.
That’s pretty alarming when you seriously think about it.
How did they come to this conclusion? Here is their breakdown of the study and how they came to their results:
“We investigated the differential diffusion of all of the verified true and false news stories distributed on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. The data comprise ~126,000 stories tweeted by ~3 million people more than 4.5 million times. We classified news as true or false using information from six independent fact-checking organizations that exhibited 95 to 98% agreement on the classifications. Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information. We found that false news was more novel than true news, which suggests that people were more likely to share novel information. Whereas false stories inspired fear, disgust, and surprise in replies, true stories inspired anticipation, sadness, joy, and trust. Contrary to conventional wisdom, robots accelerated the spread of true and false news at the same rate, implying that false news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.”
With news and information readily at your fingertips, you would think to be able to fact check or source checking these stories would be the norm. “Fake news” and propaganda has been linked to influencing our election but it’s very troubling to learn that humans are to blame instead of bots. Gotta be careful what you’re sharing on Twitter or any other social media platform for that matter. Head over to Science to read the full study.
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