研究:在社交媒体上不实新闻比真消息更易传播_OK阅读网
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研究:在社交媒体上不实新闻比真消息更易传播
False news spreads wider and faster on Twitter, scientists find

来源:FT中文网    2018-03-09 11:25



        False news travels far faster and ext­ends further than truth on social media, researchers have found, in the largest scientific study so far of the way stories spread online.        根据一项迄今最大规模的关于新闻在网上传播方式的科学研究,在社交媒体上,不实新闻的传播速度远远快过真实消息,扩散范围也更广。
        Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that falsehoods were 70 per cent more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than the truth — and true stories took six times longer on average to reach 1,500 people than falsehoods.        麻省理工学院(MIT)的科学家发现,在Twitter上不实消息被转发的概率比真相高70%,真实消息扩散至1500人所需的时间平均是不实消息的6倍。
        The study analysed 126,000 stories between 2006 and 2017, verified by six independent fact-checking organisations as either true or false news, which were tweeted 4.5m times by 3m people. The results are published in the journal Science.        这项研究分析了2006年至2017年间被300万人转发了450万次的12.6万篇报道,由6家独立的事实核查机构确认真伪。研究结果发表在《科学》(Science)期刊上。
        Sinan Aral of MIT, the senior author, said: “I was really surprised by the sheer magnitude of the way false news travels faster than the truth.”        研究论文的资深作者(senior author)、麻省理工学院的锡南•阿拉尔(Sinan Aral)说:“我着实感到惊讶,不实消息的传播速度比真相快如此之多。”
        But the study also found that automated bots [web robots] do not increase the spread of false news over true stories.        但该研究还发现,自动机器人(即网络机器人)在助长不实新闻传播方面的作用并没有大于对真消息传播的促进。
        “We found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, bots accelerate the spread of true and false stories at the same rate,” Professor Aral said.        阿拉尔教授说:“我们发现,与一般看法相反,机器人加快真伪消息传播的速度是一样的。”
        “False news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it,” he pointed out.        他指出:“不实新闻之所以比真相传播更广,是因为人类——而非机器人——更易于传播不实新闻。”
        Twitter, which is investing $10m in MIT research over five years, funded the project.        Twitter资助了这一研究项目,该公司计划5年内为麻省理工学院的研究提供1000万美元经费。
        “The company gave us access to the data, but they had no input into the study design and analysis,” Prof Aral said.        “该公司向我们提供数据,但他们并未参与研究课题的设计和分析。”阿拉尔教授说。
        “They read our [Science] paper when it was finished, but were not involved in the research,” he added.        他还表示:“研究完成后,他们读了我们(发表在《科学》上)的论文,但并未参与研究。”
        Although Twitter was not prepared to comment on the MIT researchers’ specific findings about the fast spread of false news, the company said the study was an example of the way it wanted more partnerships with outside experts “to help us identify how we measure the health of Twitter”.        尽管Twitter不准备对麻省理工学院研究人员关于不实新闻快速传播的独特发现发表评论,但该公司表示,这项研究是一个例证,反映该公司希望更多地与外部专家进行合作,“以帮助我们确定如何评估Twitter是否在良好运行”。
        The company added: “Twitter’s open and real-time nature is a powerful antidote to the spreading of all types of false information.”        该公司补充说:“Twitter的开放性和实时性能够极为有效地阻止各种不实信息的传播。”
        According to MIT, the project was far more extensive than previous studies of the spread of false news, which were either case studies of particular stories or “analyses of small ad hoc samples”.        据麻省理工学院表示,以往有关不实消息传播的研究不是针对特定新闻的案例研究,就是着眼于小规模的特别样本,相比之下,这个项目的研究范围要广泛得多。
        The researchers deliberately avoided using the contentious term “fake news” in favour of “false news”, which is easier to verify objectively.        研究人员有意避免使用争议性术语“假新闻”(fake news),而使用“不实新闻”(false news),这更便于客观查证。
        Twitter users were more likely to spread false news if they were generally less active on the site and had fewer followers than average, the MIT study found.        麻省理工学院的研究发现,那些在Twitter上通常不太活跃、粉丝数量少于平均水平的用户更有可能传播不实新闻。
        Falsehood diffused faster and further than truth “despite these differences rather than because of them”.        “尽管存在这些差异、而非因为这些差异”,不实比真相传播得更快更广。
        The researchers concluded from analysis of tweets that the dissemination of false news is mainly driven by a love of novelty. People are more likely to repeat news that surprises them — and false stories tend to be surprising and novel compared with the truth.        研究人员从推文分析中得出结论:不实新闻的传播主要缘于猎奇心理。人们更有可能转发让他们感到惊讶的消息,而不实新闻与真相相比往往更令人惊讶和新奇。
        The MIT authors said: “Understanding how false news spreads is the first step towards containing it.”        麻省理工学院这篇论文的作者们表示:“搞清不实新闻如何传播是遏制它们的第一步。”
        One conclusion from the study is that the US debate about fake news is wrong to focus so much on bots, when human behaviour is actually far more important. Solutions could include finding a reliable way to label news as true or false which people would trust.        这项研究得出的一个结论是,美国关于假新闻的讨论过多地将重点放在机器人上,其实人类的行为要重要得多。解决方案可能包括找到一种能让人们相信的、可靠的方式来标记新闻是真实的或不实的。
        Another paper in the same issue of Science by 15 US social media experts calls for a co-ordinated and large-scale investigation into the social, psychological and technological forces behind fake news.        同期《科学》期刊还发表了另一篇由15名美国社交媒体专家撰写的文章,他们呼吁对假新闻背后的社会、心理和科技因素展开大规模联合调查。
        “What we want to convey most is that fake news is a real problem, it’s a tough problem, and it’s a problem that requires serious research to solve,” said Filippo Menczer, founder of the Indiana University Observatory on Social Media.        印第安纳大学(Indiana University)社交媒体观测站(Observatory on Social Media)创始人菲利波•门采尔(Filippo Menczer)表示:“我们最想传达的是,假新闻是一个真实的问题,一个棘手的问题,一个亟需认真研究加以解决的问题。”
                
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