Prof. Robert Bond and Prof. Kelly Garrett revealed that true stories get more Reddit upvotes than fake news in the online journal PNAS Nexus in an article titled “Engagement with fact-checked posts on Reddit.”
According to the study, posts on Reddit that included fact-checked news articles garnered more interaction and positive reactions than posts with news labeled as false, as opposed to Twitter, where users were more likely to share false information.
The researchers analyzed all political posts on Reddit between 2016 and 2018 that contained a link to a news article for this study. They looked closely for posts that included a link to one of three fact-checking websites: PolitiFact, Snopes, or the Washington Post Fact Checker. All posts included a news article labeled as true, false, or mixed by one of these organizations.
According to the fact-checkers, this did result in a dataset of 10,308 posts that included links to 10,785 comment threads that could be classified as true or false. These posts received approximately 8.3 million comments from approximately 783,000 distinct comment authors. The results clearly showed that posts containing accurate information elicited more engagement.
Posts with true fact-checked information received an average of 929 comments, while false posts received an average of 581 comments. Posts that linked to true information also resulted in longer conversations – 323 hours on average, compared to 234 hours for those labeled false.
“Reddit posts linking to true information received nearly twice as many upvotes – the equivalent of “likes” – as posts that were marked as false. That contrasts with a widely reported 2018 study of Twitter users that found false stories diffused more rapidly and widely than those that were true,” the research said.
The sources for this piece include an article in TheJerusalemPost.