Lies, Damn Lies, and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation

The report analyzes the bad practices used by online media sites which propagate hoaxes, questionable claims, and rumors sourced on social media to achieve widespread circulation or refrain from debunking and correcting falsehoods. One of the most important debunking strategies is to provide a counternarrative with new facts. Craig Silverman’s extraordinary success in spotlighting fake news for BuzzFeed flowed directly from his work as a Tow Fellow and this 2015 Tow Center report.

Project lead: Craig Silverman

February 01, 2015