Twitter needs and asks for help – study finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor

Twitter wants experts to help it learn to be a less toxic place online.

Twitter launched a new initiative Thursday to find out exactly what it means to be a healthy social network in 2018.

CEO Jack Dorsey tweets acknowledging the problem

The company, which has been plagued by a number of election-meddling, harassment, bot, and scam-related scandals since the 2016 presidential election, announced that it was looking to partner with outside experts to help “identify how we measure the health of Twitter.”

The company said it was looking to find new ways to fight abuse and spam, and to encourage “healthy” debates and conversations.

Twitter is now inviting experts to help define “what health means for Twitter” by submitting proposals for studies.

Source: Wired  

Huge MIT Study of ‘Fake News’: Falsehoods Win on Twitter

Krista Kennell / Stone / Catwalker / Shutterstock / The Atlantic

Falsehoods almost always beat out the truth on Twitter, penetrating further, faster, and deeper into the social network than accurate information.

The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter’s existence—some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years—and finds

that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor.

By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.

their work has implications for Facebook, YouTube, and every major social network. Any platform that regularly amplifies engaging or provocative content runs the risk of amplifying fake news along with it.

Twitter users seem almost to prefer sharing falsehoods. Even when the researchers controlled for every difference between the accounts originating rumors—like whether that person had more followers or was verified—falsehoods were still 70 percent more likely to get retweeted than accurate news.

In short, social media seems to systematically amplify falsehood at the expense of the truth, and no one—neither experts nor politicians nor tech companies—knows how to reverse that trend.

It is a dangerous moment for any system of government premised on a common public reality.

Source: The Atlantic

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