Active Twitter users most likely to spread ‘fake news’: Study | Tech News

Active Twitter users most likely to spread ‘fake news’: Study

A study, published in the journal Natural Hazards, found that 86 to 91 per cent of the users spread false news, either by retweeting or “liking” the original post.

By: PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
| Updated on: Aug 19 2022, 22:52 IST
The logo of 'Twitter' on a computer screen in London.
The logo of 'Twitter' on a computer screen in London. (AFP/Getty Images)

Most active users on Twitter tend to spread fake news during public emergencies by retweeting or "liking" the original post, a study has found.

The study, published in the journal Natural Hazards, examined four false rumours - two each from the marathon and hurricane, including an infamous falsehood about the New York Stock Exchange flooding.

You may be interested in

MobilesTablets Laptops
7% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Black Titanium
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
Google Pixel 8 Pro
  • Obsidian
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
34% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G
  • Green
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Black
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage

Researchers examined three types of behaviour. Twitter users could either spread the false news, seek to confirm it, or cast doubt upon it. They found that 86 to 91 per cent of the users spread false news, either by retweeting or "liking" the original post.

Also read
Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

Only five to nine per cent sought to confirm the false news, typically by retweeting and asking if the information was correct, while just one to nine per cent expressed doubt, often by saying the original tweet was not accurate.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate how apt Twitter users are at debunking falsehoods during disasters. Unfortunately, the results paint a less than flattering picture," said Jun Zhuang, associate professor at University at Buffalo in the US.

Even after the false news had been debunked on Twitter and traditional news media outlets, the study found that less than 10 per cent of the users who spread the false news deleted their erroneous retweet and less than 20 per cent of the same users clarified the false tweet with a new tweet.

"These findings are important because they show how easily people are deceived during times when they are most vulnerable and the role social media platforms play in these deceptions," said Zhuang.

On a more positive note, the study found that while Twitter users are likely to spread false news during disasters, Twitter and other media platforms move quickly to correct the misinformation.

It is important to note that the study does not consider Twitter users who may have seen the original tweets with false news and decided to ignore them, Zhuang said.

"It's possible that many people saw these tweets, decided they were inaccurate and chose not to engage," he said.

Catch all the Latest Tech News, Mobile News, Laptop News, Gaming news, Wearables News , How To News, also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 13 May, 18:09 IST
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS