Information disorders on social media can have a significant impact on citizens’ participation in democratic processes. To better understand the spread of false and inaccurate information online, this research analyzed data from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The data were collected and verified by professional fact-checkers in Chile between October 2019 and October 2021, a period marked by political and health crises. The study found that false information spreads faster and reaches more users than true information on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram, on the other hand, seemed to be less affected by this phenomenon. False information was also more likely to be shared by users with lower reading comprehension skills. True information, on the other hand, tended to be less verbose and generate less interest among audiences. This research provides valuable insights into the characteristics of misinformation and how it spreads online. By recognizing the patterns of how false information diffuses and how users interact with it, we can identify the circumstances in which false and inaccurate messages are prone to becoming widespread. This knowledge can help us to develop strategies to counter the spread of misinformation and protect the integrity of democratic processes.
Mendoza M., Valenzuela S., Núñez-Mussa E., Padilla F., Providel E., Campos S., Bassi R., Riquelme A., Aldana V., López C. (2023). Applied Sciences 13 (9). Full article here.