Spreading of fake news, competence and learning: kinetic modelling and numerical approximation

Jonathan Franceschi, Lorenzo Pareschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The rise of social networks as the primary means of communication in almost every country in the world has simultaneously triggered an increase in the amount of fake news circulating online. The urgent need for models that can describe the growing infodemic of fake news has been highlighted by the current pandemic. The resulting slowdown in vaccination campaigns due to misinformation and generally the inability of individuals to discern the reliability of information is posing enormous risks to the governments of many countries. In this research using the tools of kinetic theory, we describe the interaction between fake news spreading and competence of individuals through multi-population models in which fake news spreads analogously to an infectious disease with different impact depending on the level of competence of individuals. The level of competence, in particular, is subject to evolutionary dynamics due to both social interactions between agents and external learning dynamics. The results show how the model is able to correctly describe the dynamics of diffusion of fake news and the important role of competence in their containment. This article is part of the theme issue 'Kinetic exchange models of societies and economies'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20210159
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2224
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • compartmental models
  • competence
  • fake news
  • interacting agents
  • learning dynamics
  • mean-field models


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