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Social Media Sway

Worries over political misinformation on Twitter attract scientists’ attention

Four days before the 2010 special election in Massachusetts to fill the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy, an anonymous source delivered a blast of political spam. The smear campaign launched against Democratic candidate Martha  Coakley quickly infiltrated the rest of the election-related chatter on the social networking service Twitter. Detonating over just 138 minutes, the “Twitter bomb” and the rancorous claims it brought with it eventually reached tens of thousands of people.

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