News on Consequences of Exposure

Fake news was widely cited as a problem during the 2016 US election, but a new analysis suggests that, at least in that country, it may not affect public opinion as much as has been suggested. Duncan Watts at the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues analysed the daily media consumption habits of people in the […]

It appears that the world is heading toward a near-worst case scenario in the coming months for representative democracy. The combined disruptive nature of social media and a global pandemic is creating a pressure point that should lead policymakers to fear for the future of democratic institutions. In the same way there is an acknowledgement of the risk of this contagion to our way of life in the short-run, […]

Two weeks ago, national and world health authorities—and armchair experts and worried well-meaning people—were warning anyone concerned about Covid-19 to avoid ibuprofen. Now, facing contradictory evidence, they’ve backed off that claim. But the brief online furor over whether it’s safe to use the fever reducer, and the attention paid to the claim that it might […]

In the one month since the first U.S. coronavirus death, America has become a country of uncertainty. New cases of infection and casualties continue multiplying. New York and Louisiana hospitals are grappling with a flood of patients that threatens to overwhelm their health-care systems. Meanwhile, the president and political conservatives are increasingly agitating to end drastic restrictions meant […]

A stampede for an unproven “cure” for Covid-19 is clearing the pharmacy shelves of a medicine that is vital for up to 5 million people around the world suffering from lupus, as countries bow to populist pressure and abandon the trials that would show whether hydroxychloroquine works against coronavirus infection. Both Italy and France have […]

Last year we had a call from a concerned but grateful parent. Having previously been sceptical about vaccines, having read one of our fact checks, she’d decided to go ahead and have her children vaccinated. It sticks in my mind as an example of the harm that bad information can do – not just to […]

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Tech platforms have gotten smarter about handling deliberate disinformation from bad actors, but the coronavirus’ spread presents a different kind of misinformation threat: False information spread by people who are well-intentioned, but fearful and naive. Why it matters: Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have faced strong pressure to harden themselves against “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” but […]

NOVI SANZHARY, Ukraine — The day the riots broke out began just like any other. Bells rang out from the church as people shuffled to work and students filed into classrooms. Doctors at the town’s hospital donned their white gowns and snapped on their latex gloves. Vendors at the local market sipped sugary coffee and […]

On the same day that federal health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning that the new coronavirus was certain to spread within the United States, I was on my usual morning train in New York City when the person next to me pulled out a bottle of nail polish […]

Although commentators frequently warn about echo chambers, little is known about the volume or slant of political misinformation that people consume online, the effects of social media and fact checking on exposure, or the effects of political misinformation on behaviour. Here, we evaluate these questions for websites that publish factually dubious content, which is often […]

Surely Vladimir Putin is sitting in front of the fireplace in his dacha, enjoying a hearty laugh about those “silly Americans” sniping at each other over who’s getting the most help from Russia in the 2020 election. It’s not that the situation isn’t serious — it is. It’s just that the Trump administration, now with […]

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