We’ve got a huge signal-to-noise problem. The spreading of false rumors reminds me of phishing attacks, but now we can’t rely on spotting misspelled words (thanks, Twitter :P), poor email layouts, misleading URLs, etc.
“While the median true rumour is resolved in about 2 hours, the median false rumour takes over 14 hours to be resolved,” they write.
(Unsure what “resolved” means, exactly.)
There is a small industry of fake news websites which publish fake content on a daily basis, aimed at generating and monetizing web traffic. While fact checking is a growing field, it still produces less content on average than the fakers. It can’t keep up.
“Taken together, these observations strongly suggest that rumor-mongering is dominated by few very active accounts that bear the brunt of the promotion and spreading of misinformation, whereas the propagation of fact checking is a more distributed, grass-roots activity,” they write.