The study, which was commissioned by the Knight Foundation and produced by The George Washington University, analyzed over 10 million tweets from 700,000 accounts in an effort to better comprehend how the fake news network on Twitter has evolved over the past few years.
The study found that many fake and conspiracy tweets on Twitter connected to only about 10 websites and about 60 percent of the accounts that shared and circulated fake news were predicted that automated accounts. Those accounts were heavily linked to each other at high rates and re-tweeting each other repeatedly, intensifying the impact and reach of each post. George Washington University associate professor Matthew Hindman pointed out that there was a lot of uncertainty and confusion about the fake news that how much was there, where it came from and how was it disseminated on Twitter. 80 percent of Twitter accounts that were spreading misinformation during the campaign was still active on the platform, the study found.
In addition, Hindman commented that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s said in September that the company was considering labeling bots could be a helpful tool in the fight to restrict the sway of fake news.