Characterizing Fake News and Its Spread by Data Analysis.

Abstract: Nowadays, information is spreading over the Internet at great speed. However, the amount and speed of dissemination of information also brings its disadvantages. Fake news is becoming an increasing problem not only in the world but also in Slovakia. Fake news contain false, inaccurate or even untrue information and facts. Given that information generally affects the opinions, attitudes and actions of people, fake news can have a negative impact not only on the individual but also on the wider society.

After analyzing the problem of fake news, our work focused on the differences between articles coming from reliable and unreliable sources. Based on the analysis, we have designed a method that looks for differences in their sentiment, readability, and number of social network shares. We verified the method on a dataset of articles from both reliable and unreliable sources. We have found that there are statistically significant differences in sentiment and readability between articles from reliable and unreliable sources.