Summary of “How Lies Spread Online”

For all categories of information – politics, entertainment, business and so on – we found that false stories spread significantly farther, faster and more broadly than did true ones.
These effects were more pronounced for false political stories than for any other type of false news.
Surprisingly, Twitter users who spread false stories had, on average, significantly fewer followers, followed significantly fewer people, were significantly less active on Twitter, were verified as genuine by Twitter significantly less often and had been on Twitter for significantly less time than were Twitter users who spread true stories.
Despite concerns about the role of web robots in spreading false stories, we found that human behavior contributed more to the differential spread of truth and falsity than bots did.
As we learn more about how and why false news spreads, we should test interventions to dampen its diffusion.
The social media advertising market creates incentives for the spread of false stories because their wider diffusion makes them profitable.
A more robust identification of the factors that drive the spread of true and false news will require direct interaction with users through interviews, surveys and lab experiments.
We could also benefit from randomized controlled trials of efforts to dampen the spread of false stories.

The orginal article.