Research Topics

Credibility and Trust

Policymakers, scientists, and journalists have worried for years about declining public trust in their institutions. Are new technologies like social media contributing to this decline, or are they convenient scapegoats for broader forces in society? We discuss research on how  populist politics and other anti-elite, anti-institutional movements are intersecting with declining public trust and the rise of alternative epistemologies. 

Consequences of Exposure

What happens when individuals are exposed to misinformation? Researchers are studying the societal effects of contaminated information environments.

How Misinformation Spreads

What characteristics of social media facilitate the spread of misinformation? This collection addresses both network effects and individual behaviors.

By now, you may have heard that Trump’s Department of Justice secretly seized the phone records of journalists working for The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post, in the hopes of revealing their sources and stopping leaks to the press. But the NYT is now reporting that Trump didn’t stop at journalists — […]

Brazil has been hit hard by Covid, and many people are looking for help. Dr Albert Dickson, an ophthalmologist in Brazil’s north-east region, offers prospective patients “free medical consultations” as well as prescribing “prophylactic measures” against the virus. The catch? You have to subscribe to his YouTube channel. “How are you going to be entitled […]

The difficulty of moderating the ocean of content that gets posted on social networks by billions of users every day was obvious even before former President Donald Trump’s trolling forced Facebook and other platforms to block his accounts earlier this year. Differentiating genuine harassment or abuse from friendly banter, identifying harmful images and videos from […]

One of the growing problems today is misinformation: the proliferation of fake news and misleading content across social media platforms. While artificial intelligence (AI) helps in its spread, there has been growing proof of how it can be used to curb this problem. However, more than just the daily news article, misinformation has far-reaching – […]

I am a former Facebook employee who was fired in September 2020, after working for over two and a half years as a member of the fake engagement team. I became a whistleblower earlier this year. While my work at Facebook protecting elections and civic discourse has been widely reported on, that was conducted in […]

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Live research from the digital edges of democracy
MediaWell compiles news and scholarship on digital disinformation and misinformation. Our literature reviews and news collections curate the latest knowledge on networked democracy, media, and technology.