A Quarter Of What's Said On Twitter Is False Say Researchers Who Analysed 60 Million Tweets

One In Four Tweets Are A Hoax

Twitter has got to be one of the world's best rumour mills for fake deaths, births and other life events such as getting a third breast implant or shaving one's head for Justin Bieber.

While most of us like to think that we've got a good nose for a hoax researchers Tanushree Mitra and Eric Gilbert's findings may make you think twice.

After analysing 60 million tweets about 1000 news events they found that a quarter of all tweets are false. Take note Beliebers.

Mitra and Gilbert sent the tweets to crowdsourcing site Mechanical Turk where staff rated the topics and the content for accuracy.

The biggest hoax they found was the 'Zombie Ebola virus' story that went viral last year.

Clearly people do believe anything they read on Twitter.

How do we stop the internet from fooling us on Twitter?

According to Christian Sandvig from the University of Michigan, there is a way and it involves a rather large data base called CREDBANK that could one day check the credibility of tweets.

Speaking to the New Scientist he said the system could one day be used to raise the alarm for hoax tweets by letting you know that the message matched 'similar reports that were not credible.'

He said: "I imagine a future where bizarre stories, political hatchet-jobs, misinformation, scams, and rumours are marked with different warning shades of red."

While we're all grateful for the accuracy that this could add to our feeds, there is a certain level amusement from witnessing just how gullible the Twitteratti can sometimes be.

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