The socioeconomic institution of “science”, which is as reflexively authoritarian and oblivious to its own corruption as the rest of the establishment, is concerned over the phenomenon of “fake news” (as defined by established institutions of course) and why it seems to be a worthy competitor to the standard pap dispensed by the “opinion leaders” among the choir which gives rise to the collectively autocatalytic (i.e. mutually self-delusional) perception of the state.
Despite their necessarily suspect measure of truth and falsehood (all sources are suspect to a thinking person of course), an interesting pattern emerges of which “news” is rapidly propagated and which is not.
Aral’s team used software to spot automated ‘bot’ accounts on Twitter, which have been suspected of distorting the way in which news travels. But even with those data removed, fake news generated by people rather than bots still spread faster than truth, showing that this property stems from human behaviour.
To understand why, the researchers quantified the “novelty” of tweets and found that false news items stood out among a random corpus of tweets. An analysis of the words in the tweets suggested that false news instilled fear, disgust and surprise, whereas true news was more likely to arouse feelings including sadness, joy and trust….
When we analyzed the diffusion dynamics of true and false rumors, we found that falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information [Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) tests are reported in tables S3 to S10]. A significantly greater fraction of false cascades than true cascades exceeded a depth of 10, and the top 0.01% of false cascades diffused eight hops deeper into the Twittersphere than the truth, diffusing to depths greater than 19 hops from the origin tweet (Fig. 2A). Falsehood also reached far more people than the truth. Whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1000 people, the top 1% of false-news cascades routinely diffused to between 1000 and 100,000 people (Fig. 2B). Falsehood reached more people at every depth of a cascade than the truth, meaning that many more people retweeted falsehood than they did the truth (Fig. 2C). The spread of falsehood was aided by its virality, meaning that falsehood did not simply spread through broadcast dynamics but rather through peer-to-peer diffusion characterized by a viral branching process (Fig. 2D)….
One might suspect that structural elements of the network or individual characteristics of the users involved in the cascades explain why falsity travels with greater velocity than the truth. Perhaps those who spread falsity “followed” more people, had more followers, tweeted more often, were more often “verified” users, or had been on Twitter longer. But when we compared users involved in true and false rumor cascades, we found that the opposite was true in every case. Users who spread false news had significantly fewer followers (K-S test = 0.104, P ~ 0.0), followed significantly fewer people (K-S test = 0.136, P ~ 0.0), were significantly less active on Twitter (K-S test = 0.054, P ~ 0.0), were verified significantly less often (K-S test = 0.004, P < 0.001), and had been on Twitter for significantly less time (K-S test = 0.125, P ~ 0.0) (Fig. 4A). Falsehood diffused farther and faster than the truth despite these differences, not because of them….
The topology of propagation indicates that a conscious (and therefore committed) minority of people who (justifiably) use alarming verbiage and trust in the ability of their audience to grasp novel ideas can cause significant problems for the genocidal status quo. Helplessness is an illusion. Remember the structure of the entity that you fight. Networks of mutually reinforcing corruption can appear to be resilient right up until the moment of complete collapse.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe