On Twitter, the lure of fake news is stronger than the truth | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


News

On Twitter, the lure of fake news is stronger than the truth

An analysis of 4.5 million tweets shows falsehoods are 70 percent more likely to get shared

By
2:00pm, March 8, 2018
people looking at Twitter on their phones

FACE FACTS  Fake news spreads faster and further through the Twittersphere than true stories do.

There’s been a lot of talk about fake news running rampant online, but now there’s data to back up the discussion.

An analysis of more than 4.5 million tweets and retweets posted from 2006 to 2017 indicates that inaccurate news stories spread faster and further on the social media platform than true stories. The research also suggests that people play a bigger role in sharing falsehoods than bots.

These findings, reported in the March 9 Science, could guide strategies for curbing misinformation on social media. Until now, most investigations into the spread of fake news have been anecdotal, says Filippo Menczer, an informatics and computer scientist at Indiana University Bloomington not involved in the work. “We didn’t have a really large-scale, systematic study evaluating the spread of misinformation,” he says.

To study rumormongering trends on

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content