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The spreading of misinformation online

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, January 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Citations

dimensions_citation
828 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
2004 Mendeley
citeulike
4 CiteULike
Title
The spreading of misinformation online
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, January 2016
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1517441113
Pubmed ID
Authors

Michela Del Vicario, Alessandro Bessi, Fabiana Zollo, Fabio Petroni, Antonio Scala, Guido Caldarelli, H. Eugene Stanley, Walter Quattrociocchi

Abstract

The wide availability of user-provided content in online social media facilitates the aggregation of people around common interests, worldviews, and narratives. However, the World Wide Web (WWW) also allows for the rapid dissemination of unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories that often elicit rapid, large, but naive social responses such as the recent case of Jade Helm 15--where a simple military exercise turned out to be perceived as the beginning of a new civil war in the United States. In this work, we address the determinants governing misinformation spreading through a thorough quantitative analysis. In particular, we focus on how Facebook users consume information related to two distinct narratives: scientific and conspiracy news. We find that, although consumers of scientific and conspiracy stories present similar consumption patterns with respect to content, cascade dynamics differ. Selective exposure to content is the primary driver of content diffusion and generates the formation of homogeneous clusters, i.e., "echo chambers." Indeed, homogeneity appears to be the primary driver for the diffusion of contents and each echo chamber has its own cascade dynamics. Finally, we introduce a data-driven percolation model mimicking rumor spreading and we show that homogeneity and polarization are the main determinants for predicting cascades' size.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 1,041 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 2,004 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 13 <1%
Germany 7 <1%
United Kingdom 7 <1%
Italy 5 <1%
Sweden 3 <1%
Brazil 2 <1%
Slovenia 2 <1%
France 2 <1%
Austria 1 <1%
Other 16 <1%
Unknown 1946 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 402 20%
Student > Master 330 16%
Student > Bachelor 273 14%
Researcher 223 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 111 6%
Other 380 19%
Unknown 285 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 468 23%
Computer Science 281 14%
Psychology 206 10%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 84 4%
Business, Management and Accounting 75 4%
Other 520 26%
Unknown 370 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1629. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 31 March 2022.
All research outputs
#4,790
of 21,291,302 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#158
of 95,479 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#53
of 402,716 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#4
of 849 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,291,302 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 95,479 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 402,716 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 849 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.