News on Contexts of Misinformation

Late Thursday, the Washington Post landed what looked like a big scoop: the paper obtained an unpublished slide presentation from inside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads as easily as chickenpox, and that fully vaccinated people who become infected with the variant may be able […]

As the drummer of the Indonesian punk band Superman Is Dead, I Gede Ari Astina, better known as Jerinx, always relished making headlines for rebellious acts. His most recent, and most controversial: becoming one of Indonesia’s leading anti-vaxxers. “Those who don’t believe that this covid is just a business scheme may still believe that America […]

The most visible vaccine-skeptical public figures, the likes of Tucker Carlson or Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), understand this. They don’t need to spread demonstrable falsehoods. They can simply focus night after night on outlier cases of severe side effects. Or they can selectively present results of scientific studies or government communications in ways that seem […]

We examine potential bias in Facebook’s 10-trillion cell URLs dataset, consisting of URLs shared on its platform and their engagement metrics. Despite the unprecedented size of the dataset, it was altered to protect user privacy in two ways: 1) by adding differentially private noise to engagement counts, and 2) by censoring the data with a […]

Since the coronavirus pandemic erupted last year, PolitiFact has fact-checked hundreds of misleading statements about the development, deployment, content, safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Even as the U.S. sees a rise in cases among unvaccinated populations, the unsupported claims keep coming. False narratives that the vaccines are mandatory and that they result in widespread death more […]

This spring, the Center for Countering Digital Hate published “The Disinformation Dozen” — a report on the 12 influencers it claimed were responsible for 65 percent of anti-vaccine falsehoods disseminated on Facebook and other social media platforms. Top of the list is Florida osteopath Joseph Mercola, the subject of a recent profile in The Times […]

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Americans who believe in the conspiracy theories collectively packaged as “QAnon” have grown quiet in recent months. They gained international notoriety after a large group of believers were among those who stormed the US Capitol building during a violent riot on January 6th. But the precise cause of the movement’s appeal has yet to be […]

While trustworthy online spaces benefit everyone, untrustworthy content and behaviour can divide, confuse, and cause real harm. The annual Conference for Truth and Trust Online is organised as a unique collaboration between practitioners, technologists, academics and platforms, to share, discuss, and collaborate on useful technical innovations and research in the space. Our mission is to […]

Vaccine hesitancy is an increasing problem at a time when, with the emergence of the highly contagious delta variant, compliance is more important than ever. As our leaders and public health experts struggle to find the best way to promote compliance, one thing is increasingly clear — condescension or assertion, or a sleeve of numbers […]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has always been a lightning rod for controversy. Since its creation in 1988, conspiracy theorists and politicians funded by fossil fuel interests have tried to undermine the organization’s science by portraying the panel as a power-mongering globalist organization set on overthrowing capitalism. And as the severity of the climate […]

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all banned harmful covid-related misinformation as the pandemic took hold throughout the world. But the false claims are still proliferating. On YouTube, the accounts of six out of 12 anti-vaccine activistsidentified by the Center for Countering Digital Hate as being responsible for creating more than half the anti-vaccine content shared on social media […]

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