By MEAGHAN McCLURE
The Internet is possibly the easiest place to spread rumors and false facts.
News stories that have incorrect information are easily transmitted online, social media sites like Twitter allow rumors to go viral extraordinarily fast, and above all, few Internet users actually check to confirm what they’re reading is, in fact, true.
A new website, however, may change all of this.
Emergent.info tracks the most popular stories swirling around the Internet, and deems them true or false.
The website is associated with Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. According to the website, it “aims to develop the best practices for debunking misinformation.”
On the site’s homepage there is the list of rumors, along with their status – true, false, or unverified. The site also displays how many times that story was shared, essentially its popularity, and a further breakdown of how the story was spread if you click on it.
In general, the concept seems like a great idea. It exposes sources for misinformation and falsehoods, therefore further inspiring the Internet to be more credible. The website is a good start for digital journalism, to put more responsibility on journalists to make sure their information is correct and to double-check their sources. Although the website mainly focuses on absurd rumors now, hopefully it will extend to all news sources and in more depth in the future. But for now, it’s a great addition in the credibility of digital journalism.
Visit the website here: http://www.emergent.info/