A major study of how information spreads online has found that information that is false is shared more often than information that is true. It also found that the strongest emotion attached to the false news being shared was “surprise.” These findings tie in to other research that found that negative news is more likely to be shared than positive news.
MIT researcher Soroush Vosoughi and colleagues studied 126,000 “rumor cascades” on Twitter, between 2006 and 2017, spread by some 3 million people. They then sorted the rumors according to the findings of six fact-checking organizations, requiring 95-98% agreement for the classification. Their findings have been published in Science in the article (available at the link) entitled The Spread of True and False News Online.