Bursts of contemporaneous publication among high- and low-credibility online information providers

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In studies of misinformation, the distinction between high- and low-credibility publishers is fundamental. However, there is much that we do not know about the relationship between the subject matter and timing of content produced by the two types of publishers. By analyzing the content of several million unique articles published over 28 months, we show that high- and low-credibility publishers operate in distinct news ecosystems. Bursts of news coverage generated by the two types of publishers tend to cover different subject matter at different times, even though fluctuations in their overall news production tend to be highly correlated. Regardless of the mechanism, temporally convergent coverage among low-credibility publishers has troubling implications for American news consumers.

New Media and Society, July 2023

Access the paper here: https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448231183617

Ceren Budak, Lia Bozarth, Robert M Bond, Drew Margolin, Jason J Jones, R Kelly Garrett