According to Twitter funded research laboratory, a new study, share the false news on Twitter “travels faster than the truth, faster and faster, broader”, the study also found that robots rather than easier to spread false news.
The report comes at a critical time for Twitter, where CEO jack dorsey acknowledged the need for more work to curb abuse, harassment and abuse of its platform.
In recent months, social networks have faced criticism from U.S. lawmakers for underestimating the extent of foreign influence on their platforms.
Documents submitted to congress in January, Twitter changed before disclosure, says more than 50 million Russian contact robots and 50 million human operator is responsible for sending content related to the 2016 election.
Researchers from the Massachusetts institute of technology (MIT) have set out to determine how information is transmitted in social media and how false information is transmitted, and how much human judgment plays a role.
Their findings suggest that Twitter users are more likely to share and amplify fake news stories because they are more novel than factual stories – and therefore can be Shared.
They define novelty as “not only surprising, but also more valuable” information that “makes decisions or describes themselves as insiders who know what other people don’t know.”
“If you’re not bound by reality, it’s much easier to be new when you’re making something,” says Sinan Aral, co-author of the study.
As for the role of automated Internet programs or robots, the researchers were quick to point out that their findings should not be considered to mean that robots are not important, or have no impact.
Instead, “contrary to conventional wisdom,” they write, robots speed up the spread of fake news and real news — but at roughly the same speed.
“When you remove them from the analysis, there is still a gap between the fake news and the real news,” said Soroush Vosoughi, who wrote the study. “So they can’t be the only reason why false information spreads so fast.”
The study was published in the March 9 issue of the journal Science.
While the spread of fake news on social media has always had real-world consequences – such as the fall in the stock market – the 2016 us presidential election has become a widespread example.
In order to study the effect, the researchers looked at about 126000 tweets, or what they call “gossip” waterfall, Shared by Twitter users from 2006 to 2006, and to measure how these tweets spread in the whole social network.
News is not limited to mainstream sources, but is widely defined as any “claim” that includes text, photos, or information links assessed by one of six independent fact-checking teams. About 3 million people have turned over claims made by researchers – real, false and mixed – more than 4.5 million times.
“Although the truth rarely spreads to more than 1,000 people, the first 1 per cent of the fake news cascade usually spreads to between 1,000 and 100,000 people,” the paper said.
Unsurprisingly, political content is the most popular, with researchers pointing out that political rumours spread during the us presidential election in 2012 and 2016.
The work is a collaboration between researchers at the Massachusetts institute of technology’s media lab and the school’s social machine laboratory (LSM). LSM received funding from Twitter for undirected research, and Roy is the founder of LSM and Twitter’s chief media scientist until last fall.
This relationship enabled MIT researchers to obtain raw data from Twitter, including those that had been deleted.
Other researchers say the inability to access the data – not just from Twitter, but from other platforms such as Facebook – is the biggest obstacle to such work.
Elizabeth Dubois, an assistant professor at the university of Ottawa, said, “it’s really challenging to get enough data enough to be able to tell the truth in the end.” He studied the existence of Canadian political robots.
On the same issue of the journal science, a group of researchers in their own additional article responded to this view, think social media platforms have a “moral and social responsibility” to contribute their can get the data.
“It’s not going to be anyone’s service on Russian robots,” dubois said, “because there are more actors, not just Russian robots.”