Diffusion of pro- and anti-false information tweets: the Black Panther movie case

Much has been made of the importance of the speed at which disinformation diffuses through online social media and this speed is an important aspect to consider when designing interventions. An additional complexity is that there can be different types of false information that travel from and through different communities who respond in various ways within the same social media conversation. Here we present a case study/example analysis exploring the speed and reach of three different types of false stories found in the Black Panther movie Twitter conversation and comparing the diffusion of these stories with the community responses to them. We find that the negative reaction to fake stories of racially-motivated violence whether in the form of debunking quotes or satirical posts can spread at speeds that are magnitudes higher than the original fake stories. Satire posts, while less viral than debunking quotes, appear to have longer lifetimes in the conversation. We also found that the majority of mixed community members who originally spread fake stories switched to attacking them. Our work serves as an example of the importance of analyzing the diffusion of both different types of disinformation and the different responses to it within the same overall conversation.