“If we label articles (or people) as untruthful even while allowing them to go viral, we’re inviting the rage of everyone who clicked “like.””
I don’t think it’s an either or. I do believe we should absolutely call out things that are arguably false. And there’s no reason to wait until it’s gone fully viral. The more the infrastructure exists to fact check at scale, the more we can draw attention to things before they get out of control.
As Sunil helpfully pointed out to me the day before — letting people know the facts, may indeed be helpful — contrary to the notion of a “backfire” effect. If so, we collectively should do so. (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2819073)
This is the aim of the ClimateFeedback project (climatefeedback.org), and Hypothes.is, where I work.