Science Confirms How Fake News Spreads Faster
Fake news? Let’s see how it spread. 2013 when someone hacked into the Twitter account of the Associated Press and claimed that explosions at the White House had hit U.S. President Barack Obama. There were no explosions, and Obama was fine, but the dow fell 100 points in two minutes.
Stock markets recovered quickly as soon as the truth came out, but twitter remained a nest for misinformation.
Rumours On Twitter
some words on Twitter are valid, such as the leak of the discovery of boson Higgs on Twitter ahead of its official announcement in 2012.
Others are wrong and even more severe and have serious consequences. Such as conspiracy theories about Parkland, Florida’s recent high school shooting.
A New Study
A new study in science quantified how rumours spread on Twitter. Previous research tracked words after a particular event, such as misinformation that spread after the Boston Marathon bombing.
But the new study is more extensive. A team of researchers from the MIT institute tracked lies and facts using a database of each tweet written from 2006 to 2017.
Sinan Aral, an IT professor at THE MASSACHUSETTS who studies social media, says the bad news is transmitted on Twitter faster, more profound, and more widespread than facts.
Distinguishing Between What Is Right Or Wrong
The study’s authors aim to be non-political in distinguishing between what is right or wrong.
They deliberately did not use “fake news” and outsourced them to sites such as Snopes.com, Politifact.com and four other independent fact-checking organizations.
Aral said that the basic concept of this research paper is credibility; I say so boldly because I know it is difficult to make such a claim. The approval rate of fact-checking organizations for a particular story was between 95% and 98%.
We don’t believe there’s a more accurate way to get data, more real than using independent news investigators who are almost in agreement with the validity of the news.
Aral and his colleagues searched Twitter databases for a particular type of response. For example, if a Twitter user followed a link to a fact-checking institution’s specific page. Either to support or refute a widespread rumour, the tracking process began.
Starting with this link, the researchers followed a series of retweeted tweets called Cascade to find the origin of the rumours.
Method Of Indexing Fake News
This indexing tweet produced 126,000 correct or wrong groups involving 3 million people. The wrong groups have surpassed their authentic counterparts by almost all accounts, and even the most widespread true rumours rarely reach more than 1,000 people.
But the study authors said the top 1 per cent of lies routinely included between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.
Politics has gained the most attention between accurate and wrong rumours, and they have discovered that false political rumours peaked, particularly during the 2016 elections.
One account was responsible for initiating 4,700 false rumours, and aral refused to specify the account, citing the conditions twitter imposed when sharing the data, but provided public images of who was spreading false news.
False rumours often start from an unverified modern account with few followers.
Aral said false news spread much further despite these specifications and not because of them.
In a statistical model that maintains variables such as the number of followers on Twitter and the age of the account equal. Retweeting lies was 70% more than retweeting facts.
The study authors assumed that lies were more innovative than the truth.
To this end, they measured the “uniqueness of information” of rumours and discovered that false stories were likely to contain new but false information.
“it’s easier to be creative when you’re not bound by reality,” aral said.
Similarly, researchers identified common themes in formulating responses to false rumours. And users expressed words associated with disgust and surprise when they commented on lies.
“The authors are sincere in interpreting their results, they don’t claim a link between creativity in news and the extent to which it is believed, but they provide convincing evidence that renewal plays an important role in spreading fake information,” said Manlio De Domenico, a scientist at the Information and Communication Technology Center at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Italy, who tracked how the fake news spread.
The study authors said that automated Twitter accounts, or bots, are not responsible for the rapid spread of false rumours, and using robotics identification techniques, they intend to say that computerized reports spread lies and facts equally. In other words, only human activity can explain the rapid spread of false news.
Di Domenico said his latest research, which examines bot’s activity during Catalonia’s independence referendum. Supports the idea that software accelerates the spread of real and false news at the same rate. However, he also doubts that bots are designed only to increase chaos in online social systems.
Arral said there are no easy solutions to solving the problem of false news on the internet. And some early studies have shown that classifying incorrect information may increase its spread.
This idea raises its problems. For example, who will be responsible for stamping these tweets in truth? Twitter doesn’t seem to be, according to a company executive who recently testified to British officials. “We’re not the truth-tellers.”
“We need more research. And there has been no actual large-scale study of this phenomenon so far