Recently, all major search engines introduced a new feature: real-time search results, embedded in the first page of organic search results. The content appearing in these results is pulled by Twitter, blogs, and news websites within minutes of its generation. In this paper, we argue that in the context of political speech, this feature provides disproportionate exposure to personal opinions, fabricated content, unverified events, lies and misrepresentations that would otherwise not find their way in the first page, giving them the opportunity to spread virally. We provide evidence from the recent Massachusetts senate race between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown, analyzing attacks launched inside Twitter.
Mustafaraj, Eni and Metaxas, Panagiotis (2010). "From Obscurity to Prominence in Minutes: Political Speech and Real-Time Search." In: Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line, April 26-27th, 2010, Raleigh, NC: US.