Humans are far more at fault than bots for spreading fake news on social media, according to a new study.
The news: MIT Media Lab researchers combed through 11 years of tweets, looking at roughly 126,000 stories tweeted by three million people, to figure out how news spreads. They found that fake news about all kinds of topics travels farther and faster than news that is accurate, but false political news spreads particularly far and wide.
Humans are the worst: The researchers found that robots spread accurate news at the same rate as the fake stuff. That makes them think humans are the reason misinformation gets around more than accurate news.
Why it matters: Social networks are desperately trying to clean up their acts to deal with persistent problems like fake news. (Twitter, in fact, is soliciting proposals to gauge the conversational “health” on its network.) These new results could be helpful in figuring out how to stanch the flow of misinformation online.
The US Navy wants swarms of thousands of small drones
Budget documents reveal plans for the Super Swarm project, a way to overwhelm defenses with vast numbers of drones attacking simultaneously.
Inside effective altruism, where the far future counts a lot more than the present
The giving philosophy, which has adopted a focus on the long term, is a conservative project, consolidating decision-making among a small set of technocrats.
A wrongfully terminated Chinese-American scientist was just awarded nearly $2 million in damages
"The settlement makes clear that when the government discriminates, it’s going to be held accountable," said Sherry Chen's lawyer.
The Chinese surveillance state proves that the idea of privacy is more “malleable” than you’d expect
The authors of "Surveillance State" discuss what the West misunderstands about Chinese state control and whether the invasive trajectory of surveillance tech can still be reversed.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.