Computing the Veracity of Information Through Crowds: A Method for Reducing the Spread of False Messages on Social Media
11 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2015 Last revised: 11 Sep 2015
Date Written: February 12, 2015
Twitter and other social media allow people to post their experiences and opinions online. This information can be useful for making informed decisions. However, people can unintentionally spread false information. The work reported here focused on examining how to reduce the spread of inaccurate information on social media. In particular, we examined the effect of collective opinion on information forwarding in social media environments through an experiment with crowds. In Twitter, an indicator of collective opinion is the number of people who have retweeted a message. The results showed that displaying both retweet counts and collective truthfulness ratings could reduce the spread of inaccurate health-related messages. This finding suggests that collecting and displaying the truthfulness ratings of crowds in addition to their forwarding decisions can reduce the spread of false information on social media.
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