The fine folks from Science News have done an extensive study of how fake news vs. real news is shared and accelerated across the internet:
An analysis of more than 4.5 million tweets and retweets posted from 2006 to 2017 indicates that inaccurate news stories spread faster and further on the social media platform than true stories. The research also suggests that people play a bigger role in sharing falsehoods than bots.Martha Temming, Science News
The fundamental dynamics of this result is not terribly surprising. It is human nature to react with surprise to ‘far fetched’ stories. However, in today’s modern world and with social media being the vehicle that people use to share and distribute information, it would appear that a typical social user’s reaction of ‘surprise’ is manifested through a Twitter Re-Tweet or a Facebook Share.
Header image source: FactCheck