Why is Fake News Spreading?

We’ve heard a lot about fake news recently, with claims that it’s misleading the public and even compromising elections. And despite many people being aware of the problem, it’s not going away. Filippo Menczer from Indiana University has made it his mission to find out…

  • Even if people can recognise the difference between high quality and low quality information, and prefer to share only the high quality, it does not mean that it is more likely to go viral.
  • The key factor is the information load that people experience, i.e. the amount of information they are capable of processing is limited.
  • Fake news websites use ‘bots’ to amplify their posts by creating a furore around a story.
  • Bots are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are now controlled by humans making them very difficult to detect.

You can listen to the full interview for the Naked Scientists here.

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