Three scholars from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studied more than 126,000 stories that were shared on Twitter between 2006 to 2016.
According to Metro Online, professor Sinan Aral said they found that any load of rubbish (aka fake news) that was posted spread “significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth, in all categories of information, and in many cases by an order of magnitude.”
Sinan came to the conclusion that the reason for this happening is because false news is way more interesting than the truth, which is often not as novel.
“People who share novel information are seen as being in the know” he added.
This particular study was published in the journal Science, also revealed that a fake news story is actually 70% more likely to be retweeted by Twitter users than a normal, real story.
I guess it makes sense, but it’s still kind of sad, isn’t it? That we’d rather read an embellished version of something rather than just the simple facts. Although that’s probably how sensationalism came to be a thing.
The same researchers even discovered that it’ll take six times as long for a real story to reach 1,500 people on the social media platform, as It would for a false story. That’s pretty poor.
Sinan said, “Now behavioural interventions become even more important in our fight to stop the spread of false news.
“Whereas if it were just bots, we would need a technological solution.”
Well that seems feasible. And we don’t need bots taking over on the site or else the entire internet is going to start seeming like it’s being taken over by robots.
This news doesn’t come as a shock, per se, because we are a nation that loves gossip. It’s human nature. And let’s face it – who doesn’t love to hear the ins and outs of a dramatic story rather than just straightforward facts every once in a while? It certainly keeps things interesting!