- On Twitter TWTR, -2.27% , false news stories are 70% more likely to be retweeted than true stories, and it takes true stories about six times as long to reach 1,500 people as it takes for false stories to reach the same number of people.
- Falsehoods are also retweeted more widely than true statements at every depth of a “cascade,” which is how the study refers to unbroken tweet chains. These chains travel 10 to 20 times more quickly than facts.
Researchers were “surprised and stunned” at the magnitude of the problem uncovered in the study, said Deb Roy, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab and director of the Media Lab’s Laboratory for Social Machines, who is also a co-author of the study.
… because they’ve been a sleep at the switch. This is old news.
Last December, a Washington Post reporter put out a false Tweet, that many wanted to believe was true. Within no more than 20 minutes, the tweet had spread to millions of people world wide, even prompting a response from the U.S. President.
You can help stop the distribution of fake news by
- Thinking first
- Avoid sharing links to anything you have not created yourself or that has not been created by someone you personally know