Half the truth is often a whole lie A research on the spread of fake news in online communities through agentbased

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Fake news has been around for a long time, but in this time of online networks, the problem is under debate even more. This research examines the role of different mechanisms in the spread of fake news in online networks. Opinion leaders, the division in a left-wing and rightwing network, the influence of organizations and the prioritization of posts from friends over organizations are studied. These mechanisms are investigated using an agent-based social simulation model, as it is hard to study these phenomena in real life. The results show that placing posts from friends above posts from organizations accounts for a significant spread of fake news. The degree of influence from organizations and the division in a left-wing and right-wing network can also take care of the spread of fake news. The role of opinion leaders is not clear, and can therefore be studied further in future research. However, agent-based modeling has proved to be a useful instrument for studying how fake news spreads through online communities.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen