Both publishers and people don’t care enough about whether viral content is true

Craig Silverman’s in-depth, 100+ page research on the spread of misinformation challenges media on their role in spreading falsehoods. Mathew Ingram notes how the media environment has changed over time, the incentives for publishers with viral news, and how now “the media we consume comes at us from all directions, and the original source isn’t always obvious. And factual news content blurs into entertainment content until everything looks the same.” While noting the contribution of media, Ingram also makes a point that hoax-spreading isn’t just on publishers: the environment “means it’s not just up to media organizations to fix this problem — although they definitely play a major role — it’s up to all of us as news consumers.”

+ The practical advice of Craig Silverman’s new research on viral content and not being part of the hoax-propagating problem: start with understanding your impact, setting standards, hedging consistently, and when debunking, “debunk the idea not the person” (

+ NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan’s two-part look at the Times journalism on transgender issues: 1) On pronouns and 2) On Bruce Jenner (New York Times)