Researchers retract widely cited study of ‘fake news’

Researchers retract widely cited study of ‘fake news’

[Ed. – This study may not have been the one most in need of retraction, but it’s a start.]

Last year, a study was published in the Journal of Human Behavior, explaining why fake news goes viral on social media. The study itself went viral, being covered by dozens of news outlets. But now, it turns out there was an error in the researchers’ analysis that invalidates their initial conclusion, and the study has been retracted.

The study sought to determine the role of short attention spans and information overload in the spread of fake news. …

Last spring, the researchers discovered [an] error when they tried to reproduce their results and found that while attention span and information overload did impact how fake news spread through their model network, they didn’t impact it quite enough to account for the comparative rates at which real and fake news spread in real life.

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