They called it the Great Stink. In the summer of 1858, London was hit with a heat wave of noxious consequence. The city filled with a stench emanating from opaque pale-brown fluid flowing along what was once poetically known as the "Silver Thames." Politicians whose offices overlooked the river doused their curtains with chloride of lime to mask the smell, the first time they'd been incentivized to really take action. At the time, close-quarters living arrangements and poor hygiene were contributing to a rise in illnesses and epidemics.
Hui, Pik-Mai (Indiana University Bloomington ) | Shao, Chengcheng (National University of Defense Technology ) | Flammini, Alessandro (Indiana University Bloomington ) | Menczer, Filippo (Indiana University Bloomington) | Ciampaglia, Giovanni Luca (Indiana University Network Science Institute)
Massive amounts of misinformation flood social media like Twitter and Facebook. Digital misinformation includes articles about hoaxes, conspiracy theories, fake news, and other misleading claims. This content has been alleged to disrupt the public debate, leading to questions about its impact on the real world. A number of research questions have been formulated around the ways misinformation spreads, who are its main purveyors, and whether fact-checking efforts can be helpful at mitigating its diffusion. Here we release a large longitudinal dataset from Twitter, consisting of retweeted messages with links to misinformation and fact-checking articles. These data have been collected using Hoaxy (hoaxy.iuni.iu.edu), an open social media analytics platform whose goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of how digital misinformation spreads and competes with fact-checking efforts. The released dataset contains over 20 million retweets, spanning the period from May 2016 to the end of 2017. We provide basic statistics about the data and the associated diffusion networks.
What to do about it? We must realize that the market for vital information is not merely a market. The ideals of the journalistic profession--no doubt flawed in practice, but nonetheless worthy--helped mitigate an earlier generation of concentration of media ownership. News divisions were by strong tradition independent of the commercial side of broadcasting and publishing, while cross-subsidized by other programming. And in the United States, they were largely independent of government, too, with exceptions flagrantly sticking out.
Facebook says it has removed a post from US President Donald Trump's page because it contained false claims about the coronavirus. The clip was from an interview the president gave to Fox News earlier on Wednesday in which he said children were "almost immune" to Covid-19. Facebook said the post violated its rules around "harmful Covid misinformation". It is not the first time Facebook has struck content from Mr Trump's page. A Facebook spokesperson told US media on Wednesday evening: "This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation."