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Fake news travels faster than truth on Twitter

Lies spread like wildfire when it comes to social media...

Fake news and lies spread faster on social media than real news, according to a new study.

The research by distinguished US university MIT found that on Twitter false news stories are 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true stories are.

The study also found that it takes true stories about six times as long to reach 1,500 people as it does for false stories to reach the same number of people.

One of the study's co-authors Deb Roy said that they were "somewhere between surprised and stunned" at the different trajectories of true and false news on Twitter.

Moreover, the study found, the spread of false information is essentially not due to bots that are programmed to disseminate inaccurate stories. Instead, false news speeds faster around Twitter due to people retweeting inaccurate news items.

The researchers tracked roughly 126,000 cascades of news stories spreading on Twitter, which were cumulatively tweeted over 4.5 million times by about 3 million people, from the years 2006 to 2017.

The MIT scholars say it is possible that the same phenomenon occurs on other social media platforms, including Facebook but further study was required.