“Misinformation is not like plumbing, a problem you fix. It is a social condition, like crime, that you must constantly monitor and adjust to.”
“Fake news” loves a crisis. It’s clear now that false information has played a role in recent events around the world from divisive elections to the COVID pandemic to the conflict roiling Israel and Gaza.
It is important to counter false claims and false narratives. And research now shows a lot more clarity about how to do this.
In a rather downbeat article in September 2023, The New York Times reported that “the momentum behind organizations that aim to combat online falsehoods has started to taper off.” It reported that the number of fact-checking operations around the world had “stagnated,” after rising from 11 in 2008 to 424 in 2022 and dropping slightly to 417 today.