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Disinformation goes to Hollywood: four lessons from journalism | First Draft

By Whitney Phillips and Claire Wardle
March 18, 2021

Journalists covering falsehoods, conspiracy theories and white supremacy face enormous challenges. The most immediate — and vexing — is that reporting on these problems can inadvertently spread false information to entirely new audiences, normalize dangerous messages and incentivize future harms. To complicate things, strategies for responding effectively to disinformation can be counterintuitive; the risks of amplification are often obscured by well-intended efforts to help. We, along with a number of other researchers, have worked closely with journalists over the last six years to develop best practices for reporting on mis- and disinformation. Today, journalism is far from perfect; but on the whole, journalists are more careful about what stories they tell and how they tell them.

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