Clickbait, fake news and the power of feeling
Fake news has dominated post-election headlines, and important questions have been asked: Would Hillary have won had almost a million people not read that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump? (Probably not). Did Facebook take enough action to prevent fake news proliferating on its network? (Definitely not). But few have asked why these articles were so popular in the first place. Why were so many people duped into clicking these stories?
Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News' Craig Silverman analyzed engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) across Facebook and identified the most popular real and fake articles across three distinct periods: February to April, May to July and August to Election Day.
With this analysis, Silverman was able to show that the 20 most popular fake posts were "engaged with" (Facebook's term for likes, shares and so on) 8.71 million times in the lead up to the election, compared to just 2.97 million times in February to April. Mainstream news showed the opposite pattern: Starting at 12.4 million, and falling to 7.37 million in the final period -- 1.34 million less than the fake news. The overall number of engagements is fairly steady, too, suggesting that, at least to some extent, Facebook users were sharing fake news instead of real stories.
Last year, a group of researchers from Brazil's Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Qatar Computing Research Institute, analyzed 70,000 articles from four major news organizations (BBC News, Daily Mail, Reutersand The New York Times) to measure the correlation between headline sentiment and popularity. Although results varied from publication to publication, the general finding was that the more extreme the emotion in a headline, the more likely it is to be clicked on.
To view full news, please click here.
In the Media
Perhaps you bought some illegal narcotics on the Silk Road half a decade ago, back when that digital black market for every contraband imaginable was still online and bustling. You might already ...
Si quiere buscar un ejemplo de ciudadano del mundo, de los que al cabo del año vive y trabaja desde numerosos países, y a través de internet, esté donde esté, desarrolla en remoto actividades para ...
Each year, Qatar Computing Research Institute organizes a summer internship program for undergraduate students studying computer science, computer engineering and other disciplines. The internship is unpaid, and QCRI does not provide any visa support.
Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium - MLDAS 2018 Building on the success of the three previous events , Boeing and QCRI will hold the fifth Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium (...
QCRI is to offer an introduction to mobile app development workshop for boys and girls aged 13-16. Students will learn the basics of mobile app development using the App Inventor platform. The ...
MoU will promote collaboration via an exchange of research, academic materials, faculty and research scholars.
The Boeing Company and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) will host the fifth annual Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium (MLDAS) in Qatar. This year’s event will be held at the Qatar...