MIT researchers : More than 70% of fake news are spread through Twitter

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While the whole world is struggling to fight with fake news, MIT researchers on Thursday published a new report stating that “The fake news stories spread more quickly and widely on Twitter than the real news content”.

“After studying more than 126,000 curated stories, tweeted more than 4 million times  by 3  million users on twitter from 2006-2017.” Researchers at MIT Media labs said that “It has found that more than 70% of the fakes stories spreads more quickly as compare to the real news” .

After the U.S. officials found involvement of Russia in 2016 U.S general elections. Twitter and other social networking sites like Facebook has been under the eye-watch of U.S. Officials and international regulators for doing too small to stop the fake news from spreading.

The study has been examined by six other independent organizations including (factcheck.org, hoax-slayer.com, politifact.com, snopes.org, truthorfiction.com, and urbanlegends.about.com), and found that their judgments overlapped more than 95 percent of the time.

The researchers also said that “the false news are spread more  quickly than  the true news in all other categories, but the fake news was more used for political news as compare to the false news on terrorism, science, natural disaster, urban legends and financial information”.

Even-though Twitter’s allowance of bots has come under particular criticisms, MIT researchers have also found that  “the real persons are equally responsible for spreading false news”.

MIT Media Lab researchers and head of the study, Soroush Vosough said that “People may be are more likely to share fake news, because it is surprising,  more sensational and also a headline gainer”.

In an interview, Vosoughi said that “One reason false news might be more surprising is, it goes against people’s expectations of the world”. If someone makes up a rumor that goes against what they expected, you are more likely to pass it forward, he added.

Whereas, the report also said that “Twitter provided support for the research and granted the MIT team full access to its historical archives”.

Source MIT

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