How does the problem of two nodes pointing to each other (Figure 14.8) relate to the spread of misinformation on the WWW?


example of answer:

1.When two nodes point to each other in a circular loop, they can inflate their page rankings. When looking for information on a specific and possibly niche topic, you may be recommended these pages. If these pages contain misinformation you run into a very specific problem. Because they reference each other, they may carry the same misinformation, which wouldn't be as big of a problem if these pages had links to other more reputable sites. But because they don't, they create a sort of bubble or echo chamber of misinformation. Since the people looking at these sites may not receive information that forces them to question the misinformation, they could take it as fact.

2.When two nodes point to each other, and are reachable from the rest of the graph but have no paths back, this is problematic because the PageRank builds up for the two nodes, but does not go back to the rest of the nodes. If these two pages have high PageRanks, then they will appear at the top of the search results, which are most commonly clicked on by users. Now, say there is some obscure topic that does not get explored often, but these two webpages happen to discuss it. Even if these webpages have false information on the topic, they are still appearing at the top of the search results, causing people to read and spread the misinformation.

3.The problem with two nodes pointing to each other is that the two nodes will never flow back to the start of the network graph. With two nodes relaying information back and forth to each other then it causes the PageRank of those two nodes circulating back and forth between each other to be higher than they should be. This would lead to misinformation because people who want to search for a certain topic will most likely choose the first or the second option in the google search bar even though those might not be the most reliable sources of information. Reasearch has been done on this topic in that most people are more than likely going to choose the first or second topic anyways. This is why it is super important to relay the information back to the other nodes because it can lead to more of this spread of misinformation. 

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