Less than 10 percent of Twitter users questioned fake news, stud - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Less than 10 percent of Twitter users questioned fake news, study suggests

Posted:
By Hillary Grigonis


Content Provided by  

Think your gut is good at warning you of potential fake news? Think again —a new study from the University at Buffalo found that less than ten percent of Twitter users expressed doubt when responding to a false tweet. The study, published on May 11 in the journal Natural Hazards, examined Twitter’s response to four different rumors during two disasters — the Boston Marathon Bombing and Hurricane Sandy — by examining 20,000 related tweets.

Only between one to nine percent of the Twitter users that responded to the false rumors expressed doubt at the accuracy of the information. The most common response within that small percentage was to say that the original tweet wasn’t accurate. The number of users that retweeted or wrote comments to try to confirm the information was almost just as small, making up between five to nine percent of those tweets.

The largest group instead helped spread the misinformation — between 86 and 91 percent of the users in the study retweeted or liked the original post.

The topic of fake news has sparked a number of academic studies, including an MIT study inspired by the researcher’s experience during the Boston Marathon bombing that found inaccurate tweets were 70 percent more likely to get a retweet. For its part, the University at Buffalo study looks at how easily social media users can detect inaccurate tweets.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate how apt Twitter users are at debunking falsehoods during disasters,” Jun Zhuang, Ph.D, the lead author of the study and an associate professor, said. “Unfortunately, the results paint a less than flattering picture.”

The researchers also looked at what happened when the rumors were proven false, and found that less than 10 percent went back to delete their tweet and less than 20 percent shared the debunking in a new tweet.

Because the study only looked at tweets, retweets, comments and likes, the group couldn’t determine how many users didn’t interact with the rumor, noting that ignoring the tweet could also be a response from users that doubted the accuracy of the information.

The group also noted that Twitter, along with other media platforms, was quick to correct misinformation on those tweets in the study.


  helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Airman who inspired 'Good Morning, Vietnam' film has died

    Airman who inspired 'Good Morning, Vietnam' film has died

    Thursday, July 19 2018 12:17 PM EDT2018-07-19 16:17:00 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:27 PM EDT2018-07-19 23:27:37 GMT
    The man whose military radio antics inspired a character played by Robin Williams in the film "Good Morning, Vietnam" has died. 
    The man whose military radio antics inspired a character played by Robin Williams in the film "Good Morning, Vietnam" has died. 
  • DC Universe sets pricing plan for digital subscription

    DC Universe sets pricing plan for digital subscription

    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:11 AM EDT2018-07-19 13:11:46 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:27 PM EDT2018-07-19 23:27:29 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP). Luis Ramos, left, of San Diego takes a picture of his son Alek, 6, third from right, and daughter Anabel, 11, second from right, and their friends Emiliano Beltran, 12, fourth from right, and Isabel Beltran, 10, b...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP). Luis Ramos, left, of San Diego takes a picture of his son Alek, 6, third from right, and daughter Anabel, 11, second from right, and their friends Emiliano Beltran, 12, fourth from right, and Isabel Beltran, 10, b...
    A digital subscription service for DC Comics superfans is launching in fall of 2018 and has set its annual membership fee at $74.99. 
    A digital subscription service for DC Comics superfans is launching in fall of 2018 and has set its annual membership fee at $74.99. 
  • CNN chief Jeff Zucker undergoing heart surgery

    CNN chief Jeff Zucker undergoing heart surgery

    Thursday, July 19 2018 11:16 AM EDT2018-07-19 15:16:38 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:27 PM EDT2018-07-19 23:27:05 GMT
    CNN's top executive, Jeff Zucker, tells staff members that he's taking six weeks off for elective heart surgery. 
    CNN's top executive, Jeff Zucker, tells staff members that he's taking six weeks off for elective heart surgery. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.