Your mum’s a super spreader

In news that won’t surprise anyone who’s been following the trans panic, a new study shows that some of the most prolific spreaders of fake news are middle-aged women. Just 0.3% of Twitter accounts were responsible for sharing 80% of links to fake news, and those accounts were more likely to be women (60%) than men (40%). The average age of the misinformation peddlers was 58 and the posters share many more links per day than normal social media posters. While a majority were right-wing some 20% of superspreaders were left-wing.

the researchers estimate that the superspreaders account for roughly a quarter of the links to misinformation sites that their typical followers were exposed to. For over 10 percent of their followers, they were the only source of fake news.

There is one important caveat here, which is that the study was on Twitter before it became X and began offering money to misinformation and hate speech spreaders. That’s likely to have changed the demographic by making misinformation a career opportunity rather than just a hobby.