Fighting Falsities

It’s On Us

The phrase "fake news" doesn’t quite have the presidential ring to it that it did in say, 2017, but articles riddled with misinformation are still out there deceiving the masses daily.

In fact, fake news has come a long way since the Trump era when the phrase was coined. In the long, long ago (five years), much of the spread of misinformation was attributed to bots, not humans. Now, stats show that it is us, the humans, that are spreading the falsities. If only it were as simple as finding the source of the rumor and correcting it … but it isn’t. It’s a game of telephone gone wrong that doesn’t include eight of your best friends from elementary, but rather hundreds of millions of news consumers that have their finger on the ‘Share’ button before they’ve even made it past the headline.

Back in 2018, three MIT scholars could sense the unraveling and conducted a study on misinformation on Twitter. They found that false information travels six times faster than accurate information. Why? Well, it’s juicy. And likely out of context. The MIT researchers labeled this the “novelty hypothesis.” 

Fast forward to 2023, misinformation is still with us but there is an active fight against it. Researchers continue to study the why and grassroots verification platforms, like RumorGuard and Verified, are dedicated to educating the public on how to become responsible consumers of information. 

Social media platforms started flagging suspicious-looking articles and misinformation but it’s not enough. It’s been determined that the onus is on us to manage our own consumption of information, and more importantly, perform our own due diligence before “smashing that share button.” 

Before you share, consider the Five Ws:

At Covalent Logic, we’re committed to only spreading truth (unless it’s obvious satire or dark humor). We’ve joined Verified in their #pledgetopause and hope you will, too.

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