The pervasiveness of online social networks has reshaped the way people access information. Online social networks make it common for users to inform themselves online and share news among their peers, but also favor the spreading of both reliable and fake news alike. Because fake news may have a profound impact on the society at large, realistically simulating their spreading process helps evaluate the most effective countermeasures to adopt. It is customary to model the spreading of fake news via the same epidemic models used for common diseases; however, these models often miss concepts and dynamics that are peculiar to fake news spreading. In this paper, we fill this gap by enriching typical epidemic models for fake news spreading with network topologies and dynamics that are typical of realistic social networks. Specifically, we introduce agents with the role of influencers and bots in the model and consider the effects of dynamical network access patterns, time-varying engagement, and different degrees of trust in the sources of circulating information. These factors concur with making the simulations more realistic. Among other results, we show that influencers that share fake news help the spreading process reach nodes that would otherwise remain unaffected. Moreover, we emphasize that bots dramatically speed up the spreading process and that time-varying engagement and network access change the effectiveness of fake news spreading.

Realistic Aspects of Simulation Models for Fake News Epidemics over Social Networks / Francesco Lotito, Quintino; Zanella, Davide; Casari, Paolo. - In: FUTURE INTERNET. - ISSN 1999-5903. - 13:3(2021), pp. 76.1-76.20. [10.3390/fi13030076]

Realistic Aspects of Simulation Models for Fake News Epidemics over Social Networks

Quintino Francesco Lotito;Paolo Casari
2021-01-01

Abstract

The pervasiveness of online social networks has reshaped the way people access information. Online social networks make it common for users to inform themselves online and share news among their peers, but also favor the spreading of both reliable and fake news alike. Because fake news may have a profound impact on the society at large, realistically simulating their spreading process helps evaluate the most effective countermeasures to adopt. It is customary to model the spreading of fake news via the same epidemic models used for common diseases; however, these models often miss concepts and dynamics that are peculiar to fake news spreading. In this paper, we fill this gap by enriching typical epidemic models for fake news spreading with network topologies and dynamics that are typical of realistic social networks. Specifically, we introduce agents with the role of influencers and bots in the model and consider the effects of dynamical network access patterns, time-varying engagement, and different degrees of trust in the sources of circulating information. These factors concur with making the simulations more realistic. Among other results, we show that influencers that share fake news help the spreading process reach nodes that would otherwise remain unaffected. Moreover, we emphasize that bots dramatically speed up the spreading process and that time-varying engagement and network access change the effectiveness of fake news spreading.
2021
3
Francesco Lotito, Quintino; Zanella, Davide; Casari, Paolo
Realistic Aspects of Simulation Models for Fake News Epidemics over Social Networks / Francesco Lotito, Quintino; Zanella, Davide; Casari, Paolo. - In: FUTURE INTERNET. - ISSN 1999-5903. - 13:3(2021), pp. 76.1-76.20. [10.3390/fi13030076]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/297496
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