About the exhibition

Fake News forced humanity to question the nature of truth and evidence, the role of experts and expertise, creating uncertainties when clarity was needed. In Fake News Apostles, BarabásiLab brings its big data and network science practice to unveil the hidden forces that shape our understanding of the role of fake news during the rollout of the COVID vaccines.Relying on data collected by the Fake News Observatory at the Network Science Institute in Boston, each tweet carrying vaccine-related fake news was tagged, helping reconstruct not only the prevalence but also the consumption of fake news. The research reconstructed the follower network of over 200,000 Twitter users, identifying if they were involved in the spread or exposed to fake news. Fake News Apostles highlights the exceptional role of 12 individuals, called fake news apostles in the literature, that gathered an exceptional following thanks spreading false news about COVID vaccines.

The 3D video, or networked soundscape, highlights the embeddedness of these apostles in the fabric of social media, showing that while small in number, how inescapable they were within the universe that defined information access during the pandemic. It hints at the hidden forces that turned social media, from a platform that promised credible information from peers, into a massive viral experiment fueling the spread of fake news. As the COVID virus was infecting people, fake news was infecting minds, exacerbating the death toll of the pandemic.

Exhibited works


– Fake News Apostle exhibited at Ludwig Museum. 
– The 3D soundscape of Fake News Apostles created by Sonilab and BarabásiLab. 
– Fake News Apostle prints created by the 12 individual paint rollers, capturing the hashtags and emojis that characterize the fake messaging of each of the 12 fake news apostles.