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Image: pixel 2013, Pixabay.

A new study has found it takes just a few seconds for a bot on twitter to spread fake news that can affect the way thousands of people think about an issue.

Researchers at Indiana University in the US studied 14 million messages on Twitter during the US election period and discovered only around six per cent of accounts spread over 30 per cent of the misleading information, relying on the popularity of the messages and retweets by influential users to take them further.

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