Prof. Sinan Aral

David Austin Professor of Management
Professor of Information Technology and Marketing
Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)

Primary DLC

MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT Room: E62-414


Allie McDonough

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Information Technology (IT)
Social Contagion
Product Virality and Measuring
Social Networks
Information Worker Productivity
Consumer Demand

Research Summary

Professor Aral’s ground-breaking study on the spread of fake news (The spread of true and false news online) was featured on the cover of Science in March 2018 and shared broadly across global media. His most recent research will be published in September 2020 in the forthcoming book, The Hype Machine, which describes the impact of social media on statecraft, politics, voting, business and public health – and shows us how society must adapt.

Aral is looking forward to his new assignment saying he is “excited about the opportunity to bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the IDE. I "grew up" as a PhD student in the IDE when it was the Center for Digital Business. I've known the executive staff for nearly 20 years and I am excited about IDE's next chapter and expanding its intellectual focus and Sloan footprint. There are exciting times ahead!"

Recent Work

  • Video

    Sinan Aral - 2019 Vienna Conference

    April 3, 2019Conference Video Duration: 49:8

    Fake News: The End of Reality

    False news is big news. Barely a day goes by without a new development about the veracity of social media, foreign meddling in U.S. elections, or questionable science. Conducted with Soroush Vosoughi and Deb Roy of the MIT Media Lab, "The Spread of True and False News Online" investigates the differential diffusion of all the verified, true and false news stories distributed on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. The data comprise approximately 126,000 stories tweeted by about 3 million people over 4.5 million times. Until this study, few large-scale empirical investigations of the diffusion of false news or its social origins had existed. Their conclusions are both surprising and alarming.