How to Identify True and False Information on Social Media


One way of identifying true and false information on social media is through a content analysis method. This is a technique that can help maintain the integrity of a network and contribute to the governance of misinformation.

To understand the spread of misinformation on social networks, a study was conducted. The study takes true information as its research object, and then compares its diffusion characteristics to those of misinformation. It also analyzes the relationships between the content features of true and false information.

The study analyzed 2.8 million online news articles. These articles were divided into two groups, namely, those containing misinformation and those containing true information. They found that both kinds of information were distributed differently. Misinformation was more likely to be distributed via the internet. In addition, more people responded to the headline, and a higher percentage of users never clicked the link to read the article.

True information was also more commonly collected, and more people were willing to support it. Among the most notable results was the correlation between emotions and the spread of false information. Moreover, the number of comments under a misinformation post was greater than the number of retweets. Similarly, the number of forwardings was rightward.

In addition, the study found that the retweets of a story were larger than the favorites. Nevertheless, the number of retweets of true information was significantly higher.

Another result showed that a social experiment on Facebook was conducted. People reacted to a headline that read, “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?” That article was then directed to a webpage of the National Public Radio (NPR). When reading the article, the readers were warned that it was a joke.