Junk News Bubbles: Modelling the Rise and Fall of Attention in Online Arenas

9 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020

See all articles by Maria Castaldo

Maria Castaldo

University Grenoble Alpes - CNRS, GIPSA-lab

Tommaso Venturini

Centre Internet et Société CNRS

Paolo Frasca

University Grenoble Alpes - CNRS, GIPSA-lab

Date Written: April 19, 2020

Abstract

In this paper, we present a type of media disorder which we call “junk news bubbles” and which derives from the effort invested by online platforms and their users to identify and share contents with rising popularity. Such emphasis on trending matters, we claim, can have two detrimental effects on public debates: first, it shortens the amount of time available to discuss each matter; second it increases the ephemeral concentration of media attention. We provide a formal description of the dynamic of junk news bubbles, through a mathematical exploration the famous “public arenas model” developed by Hilgartner and Bosk in 1988. Our objective is to describe the dynamics of the junk news bubbles as precisely as possible to facilitate its further investigation with empirical data.

Keywords: Junk News, News Cycles, Attention Economy, Fake News

Suggested Citation

Castaldo, Maria and Venturini, Tommaso and Frasca, Paolo, Junk News Bubbles: Modelling the Rise and Fall of Attention in Online Arenas (April 19, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3580078 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3580078

Maria Castaldo

University Grenoble Alpes - CNRS, GIPSA-lab ( email )

France

Tommaso Venturini (Contact Author)

Centre Internet et Société CNRS ( email )

59-61 rue Pouchet
PARIS, 75849
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.cis.cnrs.fr

Paolo Frasca

University Grenoble Alpes - CNRS, GIPSA-lab ( email )

France

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