How did it become so easy to spread misinformation and what effect is this having on the journalism industry?

James Ball, special correspondent for BuzzFeed UK, Alastair Reid, digital journalist, and Megan Lucero, director of Bureau Local at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism discussed these issues at City, University of London, earlier this month (1 March), during a panel about the current state of the misinformation ecosystem.

"If we are trying to get loads of display ads and page views, that often means, when it seems to be low-stakes, we run content without checking it," Ball explained, noting that journalism business models are fuelling the misinformation ecosystem.

"We are all falling into this information smog, and if we think we can tackle it by getting Google to cut off advertising to a hoax website, or getting Facebook to put 'fact-checkers think this is questionable' on a hoax piece, we are kidding ourselves."

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).