Instead, false news speeds faster around Twitter due to people retweeting inaccurate news items. "Whereas if it were just bots, we would need a technological solution".
Read the full text of "The spread of true and false news online" at Science Mag here. False information spread significantly further and faster than the truth across all categories of information, the researchers found. "I realized that. a good chunk of what I was reading on social media was rumors", he added. The researchers, working out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that 126,000 verifiably false stories were spread by roughly three million people. Out of those accounts, nearly 15 percent of the accounts were bots.
Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are under big pressure to do more to stop the spread of fake news.
False information travels much faster than the truth on Twitter
Bots are often blamed for the spread of fake news, but the researchers found a negligible impact.
They call for more high-quality research into the false news problem and what can be done about it, pointing to reforms in the early 20th century that gave rise to legitimate newspapers with ethics promoting objectivity and credibility out of the ashes of a boisterous yellow press. YouTube said it hoped the move would "equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch".More news: European Union seeks clarity on whether it will be hit by USA tariffs
University of Pennsylvania communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a co-founder of factcheck.org, had problems with the way the study looked at true and false stories. "There is thus a risk that repeating false information, even in a fact-checking context, may increase an individual's likelihood of accepting it as true".
Among the numerous findings, they discovered that true stories were rarely seen by more than 1,000 people whereas the top 1% of false stories routinely reached between 1,000 and 100,000 people, with political stories more likely to go viral than any other kind of false information.
But what might come as a surprise was how the number of followers a person had, or the amount of time they spent on Twitter, wasn't enough on its own to explain the difference in the spread of false news versus accurate news. Almost two-thirds were false, just under one-fifth were true, and the rest were mixed. The six sites agreed on which reports were true about 95 percent of the time, they said.More news: Netanyahu accused of stoking 'fake' crisis to force poll
Interestingly, the researchers found the phenomenon is distinctly a human factor, noting that bots "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". Some of those stories or rather conspiracy theories include that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and Hilary Clinton was seriously ill during 2016 presidential election was prominent stories in the dataset. But I also don't believe that this is a nothing issue.More news: Schools, colleges closed in J&K after three militant killed in encounter