It is well known that social media amplifies misinformation and other harmful content. The Integrity Institute, an advocacy group, is now trying to measure exactly how much — and on Thursday it began publishing results that it plans to update each week through the midterm elections on Nov. 8.
The institute’s initial report, posted online, found that a “well-crafted lie” will get more engagements than typical, truthful content and that some features of social media sites and their algorithms contribute to the spread of misinformation.
Twitter, the analysis showed, has what the institute called the great misinformation amplification factor, in large part because of its feature allowing people to share, or “retweet,” posts easily. It was followed by TikTok, the Chinese-owned video site, which uses machine-learning models to predict engagement and make recommendations to users.