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‘Verified’ social media users are responsible for much fake news dissemination

The rise of fake news has become one of the biggest problems in the nation—with roughly 67% of Americans having encountered it on social media—and has been eroding trust and respect among communities.

Min-Seok Pang and his co-authors found that individuals created more fake news after verifying their identity and receiving a ‘verified’ badge on social media. They also found that users were more likely to report a fake news post when it included videos.

Pang is concerned that nefarious users may be gaming the system to obtain a verified badge to add legitimacy to their fake news. Social media platforms should strengthen identity verification policies to prevent ill-intentioned workarounds.