Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

On Twitter, fake news travels more rapidly than real news

On Twitter, fake news travels more rapidly than real news

False news spread "farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly" than true news on Twitter between 2006 and 2017, a team of USA scientists has found.

The researchers consulted with six fact-checking organizations on whether stories were true or false.

The research did conclude that bots did not play a factor in the reach of these articles which has been blamed in the 2016 election meddling which continues to play out.

It seems we love a good lie, but we're not so content with sharing the truth.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysed around 126,000 news stories tweeted by 3m people more than 4.5m times between 2006 and 2017.

The researchers considered "news" to be "any asserted claim made on Twitter".

Misinformation has always been our enemy, since the days when hucksters sold so-called snake oil from their carts.

"Let's not take it as our destiny", said Deb Roy, another of the researchers, "that we have entered into the post-truth world from which we will not emerge". The authors point out that we tend to see people with novel or new information as being in-the-know-;that is, we see them like insiders.

Menczer is also the founder of the IU Observatory on Social Media, a platform that offers tools for identifying automated "bots" on social media and examining the spread of fake news across these social networks.

Overall, fake news stories prompted cascades that went farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly across Twitter than any of those rooted in truth.

State's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.8 percent in January
The jobless rate for black workers fell to 6.9 per cent after jumping almost a full percentage point a month earlier. Over the past 14 months, the US economy has added 195,714 each month on average-a strong figure.

Mr Aral said: "Now behavioural interventions become even more important in our fight to stop the spread of false news".

To objectively separate truth from lies or mistakes, Vosoughi and colleagues used sites devoted to fact-checking: factcheck.org, hoax-slayer.com, politifact.com, snopes.org, truthorfiction.com, and urbanlegends.about.com.

A false rumor cascade was more likely to begin with a young, unverified account with a small number of followers.

For example, people who are likely to share information, but who are receptive to messages about whether an item is true or false, could act as "nodes of influence" to keep questionable news from spreading. They weren't. Stooges of the Democratic Party?

Not all false news is created equal.

False rumors have affected stock prices and the motivation for large-scale investments, the team said. Stocks tumbled, wiping out $130 billion in stock equity in a single day. U.S. officials have accused Russian Federation of using social media to try to sow discord in the United States and interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election. Which is what you are if the only things you Tweet are real. Nope. Did Hilary Clinton sells weapons to ISIS. "Cyberspace is the ultimate, ecumenical echo chamber". "The media have a vested interest in constant titillation, and consistent, reliable information flow does not serve that agenda". The group of academics call for a multidisciplinary counterattack against false information on the Internet - and especially calls for cooperation from Facebook, Twitter, and other companies that are the gatekeepers of the software. "Analysis of all news categories showed that news about politics, urban legends, and science spread to the most people, whereas news about politics and urban legends spread the fastest and were the most viral in terms of their structural virality", the paper reads.

Next, the researchers drilled into the replies to tweets, analyzing the emotional content based on some 32,000 hashtags and phrases and their associations with anger, fear, anticipation, trust, surprise, sadness, joy, and disgust.

The results were published Thursday in the journal Science.

He said he was unsure whether or not bots would be more prominent if the study had focused exclusively on political news.

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