Over the past three years, Dr Fadi Safieddine and research colleagues have used the big-data simulation tool Biolayout Express to simulate and publish their findings on the variables affecting the spread of fake news.
They have found the main factor contributing to the continuing failure to combat the spread of fake news is the lack of validation tools.
During their simulations, the team were able to demonstrate that having 30 per cent of users check if a post is fake can help stop the spread of fake news to its source. However, and keeping all variables the same, having an influencer with over 1,000 dedicated followers can make controlling spread a lot harder.
The simulation under these circumstances shows 54 per cent of users are needed to be able to validate and check a post to stop it propagating. As such, the team concluded that the only way to stop the spread of fake news has to be in the form of an online tool that allows users to perform a validation check on an article.
"Recently, Google and Facebook have made attempts to develop fact-checking tools that rely on third-party fact-checkers with limited success," Dr Safieddine explains.
He added: "However, the ability to combat the spread of fake news remains limited and hampered by the slow response of third-party fact-checkers.