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In the media age, we are bombarded with information. Most of the time we do not know the original source of this information. For example, the BBC broadcasts a news item, a local news agency takes it from the BBC and in turn broadcasts it, someone hears it and shares in on Facebook, her friend reads it and tells my friend who then puts it on Twitter and then I see it. Sometimes I simply acknowledge the information, other times I consider it critically but I am not able to find the original source. I am looking for a verb/phrasal verb to say that inability to find the original source.

Sentence example:

The Media operate in such indirect ways that we usually _______ where the original source is.

Clearly, I am not looking for such obvious answers like "do not know" or "can't find out".

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, Rob_Ster, Drew, Edwin Ashworth, jimm101 Dec 3 '17 at 19:00

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Consider using (being unable to) trace back, e.g. as follows:

The media operate in such indirect ways that we usually cannot trace back back to the original source.

or simpliy to trace:

The media operate in such indirect ways that we usually cannot trace back the original source.

or untraceable:

The media operate in such indirect ways that the original source is usually untraceable.

From the Macmillan Dictionary:

[trace someone to something]

to discover the origin of something or how it developed

Rita decided to trace her family roots.

trace something back to something: Many phobias can be traced back to childhood experiences.

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The Media operate in such indirect ways that the original source is often obscured from us

Hidden, out of sight or inconspicuous. Difficult to understand.

-- Wiktionary

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