On Twitter, limited number of characters spreading fake info

WASHINGTON (AP) – A new study finds that a tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more.

Scientists examined more than 16,000 U.S. Twitter accounts and found that 16 accounts tweeted out nearly 80 percent of the misinformation masquerading as news.

Study author David Lazer of Northeastern University says about 99 percent of Twitter users spread virtually no fake information in the most heated part of the election year. He says fake information is coming from a small but seamy corner of Twitter.

The study is in Thursday’s journal Science.

The conclusions are similar to a study earlier this month that looked at the spread of false information on Facebook.