Fake news spreads more quickly than the fact-based variant and gets to a wider audience. A study of a mix of false and fact-based tweets by Vosoughi, Roy, and Aral found that while the top 5% of fake news posts racked up over 200 tweets , the top 5% of fact-based stories had a mere 10.
And fake news was 70% more likely to be retweeted than fact-based news. Plus it took 10 times longer for fact-based news to be retweeted 10 times.
“We tend to retweet more rare messages than non-rare messages. If false news are more rare, then we will retweet them,” the researchers say.
FAKE NEWS UPDATE: Twitter recently acquired start-up Fabula AI, which uses machine learning to detect and combat fake news.