It’s hard not to theorize fake news. The phenomenon, in which fabricated news stories gain relative mainstream traction, is so much at the center of our the United States’ current political crisis. If we can be so easily swayed by what is often clearly incorrect information, what then is democracy?
So, how fake news gains traction is obviously a crucial question. It’s also one that’s being pursued by more than just podcast hosts and op-ed columnists. This is an academic question as well. In particular, previous research has demonstrated that viral memes are likely to spread given the right combination of social network structure and limited attention spans.
In a paper published Monday in Nature Human Behavior, Xiaoyan Qiu, a researcher at Shanghai Institute of Technology, and colleagues explore this dynamic but through the lens of information quality. We all want quality information—excepting those likely to benefit from the spread of bad information, of course—but what happens to our ability to properly make quality judgements given overloaded network conditions and limited attention spans?
The Supreme Court of the United States says it will allow a partial enforcement of President Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees until it reviews it in October.
The action on Monday was hailed as a win by the right-wing leader, who has insisted the ban is necessary for national security, despite severe criticism that it singles out Muslims in violation of the US constitution.
The justices at the highest US court narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked Trump’s March 6 executive order. They also agreed to hear the government’s appeals in the cases.
AFTER WEEKS OF WRANGLING, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party agreed on Monday to give Prime Minister Theresa May the votes she needs to stay in office and push through legislation ensuring that the United Kingdom exits the European Union.
While the Democratic Unionist leader, Arlene Foster, spoke of the deal being “in the national interest” of the U.K. as a whole, commentators pointed to what looked like a massive concession to Northern Ireland’s local government — an additional 1 billion pounds in social welfare spending.
The US supreme court handed a partial victory to the Trump administration on Monday as it lifted significant elements of lower court orders blocking the president’s controversial travel ban targeting visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries.
Theresa May faced a backlash from politicians in Scotland, Wales and parts of England on Monday after completing a £1bn deal with the Democratic Unionist party to prop up her Conservative minority government.
Political figures lined up to demand more money for their regions after Arlene Foster’s DUP agreed to a confidence and supply arrangement in return for the additional funding alongside relaxed spending rules relating to a further £500m previously committed.
Critics also claimed the money would simply act as a downpayment after it emerged that the DUP would be seeking further concessions to continue shoring up the Tories, amid a promise to review the agreement by “mutual consent” after two years.