Brendan Nyhan writes: “Everyone knows there is dubious information online, of course, but estimating the magnitude of the problem has been difficult until now. To see just how these false and unverified claims are shared, Craig Silverman, a journalist and fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, has developed Emergent, a tool that tracks the dissemination of rumors online”.
It seems that “initial false reports can be circulated much more widely than later corrections.” The reason for this is: “they’re often much more interesting than the truth”. Nyhan concludes: “The challenge for fact-checkers, it seems, is to make the facts as fun to share as the myths they seek to replace.”