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The spread of true and false news online

Overview of attention for article published in Science, March 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#1 of 58,384)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Citations

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105 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
839 Mendeley
citeulike
5 CiteULike
Title
The spread of true and false news online
Published in
Science, March 2018
DOI 10.1126/science.aap9559
Pubmed ID
Authors

Soroush Vosoughi, Deb Roy, Sinan Aral

Abstract

We investigated the differential diffusion of all of the verified true and false news stories distributed on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. The data comprise ~126,000 stories tweeted by ~3 million people more than 4.5 million times. We classified news as true or false using information from six independent fact-checking organizations that exhibited 95 to 98% agreement on the classifications. Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information. We found that false news was more novel than true news, which suggests that people were more likely to share novel information. Whereas false stories inspired fear, disgust, and surprise in replies, true stories inspired anticipation, sadness, joy, and trust. Contrary to conventional wisdom, robots accelerated the spread of true and false news at the same rate, implying that false news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7,141 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 839 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 838 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 183 22%
Student > Master 133 16%
Researcher 116 14%
Unspecified 84 10%
Student > Bachelor 81 10%
Other 242 29%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 177 21%
Computer Science 142 17%
Unspecified 128 15%
Psychology 65 8%
Business, Management and Accounting 43 5%
Other 284 34%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8789. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 January 2019.
All research outputs
#4
of 12,393,153 outputs
Outputs from Science
#1
of 58,384 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1
of 276,372 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Science
#1
of 977 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,393,153 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 58,384 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 39.0. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 276,372 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 977 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.