The unverifiability of information is nothing new - but the recent growth in plausible hoaxes, non-human communication, and so on strikes me as a troubling signal for the future…
Bradley Kreit - Research Director, Health Horizons Program
…a semi-retracted article in The Daily Dot in which a 24-year old named Steve claimed, and reporters spent some time verifying, that he was making $1,000 a day by flooding the social networking site Pinterest with “spam” pictures and links to his Amazon affiliate account, which generates revenue for him every time someone follows one of the links. […] This sort of confusing blurring of reality is becoming surprisingly common. In just the last couple of weeks, venerable publications like the Washington Post believed that a poorly designed Tumblr site called Whodat.biz was a startup launched by Kanye West. A couple weeks ago, Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman - whose job, remember, is to sort fact from fiction - wrote a blog post about why a viral video that claimed to show a Dutch man flying 100 yards by flapping his arms while wearing an exoskeleton could be real. A couple days later, the makers of the video admitted it was fake.
Tommaso De Benedetti, a Rome schoolteacher, has posed as high-profile people on Twitter to expose weaknesses in the media, recently told the Guardian, “Social media is the most unverifiable information source in the world but the news media believes it because of its need for speed.”