As mishaps of misinformation and disasters of disinformation spread through the digital ecosystem, determining who you can trust for news and verified information is more important than ever.

If you do not already clearly understand this reality of living in our wired world you must: Just because some information shows up in your Google search list or Facebook newsfeed does not make it a fact. Case in point: the amount of misinformation and outright lies that circulated on the internet this week following the devastating gun violence in Las Vegas that took the lives of 59 people, including four Canadians.

“In the crucial early hours after the Las Vegas mass shooting it happened again: Hoaxes, completely unverified rumors, failed witch hunts and blatant falsehoods spread across the internet,” Alexis C. Madrigal, a writer for The Atlantic wrote in an excellent piece about how such hoaxes, rumours and lies spread through the information infrastructure of digital platforms, Google, Facebook and YouTube.

Entitled “Google and Facebook failed us,” the article is a strong indictment of “the world’s most powerful information gatekeepers” and the seeming failure of the artificial intelligence algorithms that power them to halt the virulent spread of false information.

Continue reading this story on the Toronto Star website, where it was first published.