A new study carried out by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that fake news is more often retweeted by humans than bots.
The study involved 126,000 rumors and false news items spread via Twitter in the past 11 years. According to Professor Sinan Aral, a co-author of the study, people tend to find fake news as more novel, and tend to share it more readily.
Prof. Aral, Soroush Vosoughi and associate professor Deb Roy began the study in 2013 in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing. They found that false news stories were 70% more likely to be re-tweeted than factual ones, which takes around six times longer to reach 1,500 people. True stories were also rarely shared beyond 1,000 people, as opposed to popular false stories which could reach up to 100,000.