Papers in the Biological Sciences



Stefano Mammola, Luonnontieteellinen KeskusmuseoFollow
Jagoba Malumbres-Olarte, Luonnontieteellinen Keskusmuseo
Valeria Arabesky, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Diego Alejandro Barrales-Alcalá, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo, University of the Philippines Los Banos
Marco Antonio Benamú, Universidad de la Republica
Tharina L. Bird, Ditsong National Museum of Natural History
Maria Bogomolova, Freelance translator
Pedro Cardoso, Luonnontieteellinen Keskusmuseo
Maria Chatzaki, Democritus University of Thrace
Ren Chung Cheng, National Chung Hsing University
Tien Ai Chu, National Chung Hsing University
Leticia M. Classen-Rodríguez, St. Louis University
Iva Čupić, Croatian Biospeleological Society
Naufal Urfi Dhiya'ulhaq, Universitas Gadjah Mada
André Philippe Drapeau Picard, Insectarium de Montréal
Hisham K. El-Hennawy, Serket
Mert Elverici, Erzincan Binali Yıldırım Üniversitesi
Caroline S. Fukushima, Luonnontieteellinen Keskusmuseo
Zeana Ganem, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Efrat Gavish-Regev, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Naledi T. Gonnye, Botswana International University of Science and Technology
Axel Hacala, Écosystèmes, Biodiversité, Évolution
Charles R. Haddad, University of the Free State
Thomas Hesselberg, University of Oxford
Tammy Ai Tian Ho, National University of Singapore
Thanakorn Into, Thammasat University
Marco Isaia, Università degli Studi di Torino
Dharmaraj Jayaraman, Sri Vijay Vidyalaya College of Arts and Science
Nanguei Karuaera, National Museum of Namibia
Rajashree Khalap, SBS Marg
Kiran Khalap, SBS Marg
Dongyoung Kim, Ajou University
Tuuli Korhonen, Luonnontieteellinen Keskusmuseo
Laura Segura-Hernández, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
et al.

Date of this Version



Current Biology 32, R855–R873, August 22, 2022, R871-R873


This is an open access article under the CC BY license


In the internet era, the digital architecture that keeps us connected and informed may also amplify the spread of misinformation. This problem is gaining global attention, as evidence accumulates that misinformation may interfere with democratic processes and undermine collective responses to environmental and health crises1,2. In an increasingly polluted information ecosystem, understanding the factors underlying the generation and spread of misinformation is becoming a pressing scientific and societal challenge3. Here, we studied the global spread of (mis-)information on spiders using a high-resolution global database of online newspaper articles on spider–human interactions, covering stories of spider–human encounters and biting events published from 2010–20204. We found that 47% of articles contained errors and 43% were sensationalist. Moreover, we show that the flow of spider-related news occurs within a highly interconnected global network and provide evidence that sensationalism is a key factor underlying the spread of misinformation.

Included in

Biology Commons