News on Credibility and Trust

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not the first social media war—but it is the first to play out on TikTok. The 2011 Arab Spring was fomented and furthered on Twitter and Facebook. Clips of Syrian children choking from chemical weapons filled social media timelines in 2018. And the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, with all the […]

Overt politicization of the pandemic—and the speed with which falsehoods about all aspects of COVID-19 have spread online, over the airwaves and through media—are major reasons why the U.S. has suffered a far greater COVID-related death toll than other large, well-resourced nations. The recent controversies about misinformation widely circulating on popular streaming services and social […]

The antiparasitic drug ivermectin failed to treat COVID-19 in yet another randomized clinical trial, but the drug remains popular amid the pandemic thanks to Republican politics. That’s the takeaway from two separate studies published Friday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Together, the studies raise yet more concerns for the use of ivermectin against the pandemic virus—as […]

A physician who alerted the Maryland state medical board about controversial scientist Robert Malone’s alleged promotion of COVID-19 misinformation has been harassed online, faced a retaliatory complaint to his own medical board, and received complaints to his institution after Malone publicly disclosed his identity. The medical board in Maryland, meanwhile, has opted to take no […]

Our inboxes are full of them — press releases, pitches, and other media calling some scientific event “a breakthrough,” “a game-changer,” or “a paradigm-shifter.” Scientists, investors, and analysts flood our Twitter feeds, cheerleading a preprint or singing some company’s praises, even when there is little to no data to back up those claims. Figuring out […]

The Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal (RSDR) Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) aims to bring knowledge of the place of religion and spirituality into scholarly and public conversations about renewing democracy in the United States. These fellowships are offered by the SSRC Program on Religion and the Public Sphere with the support […]

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Despite the potential societal benefits of granting independent researchers access to digital platform data, such as promotion of transparency and accountability, online platform companies have few legal obligations to do so and potentially stronger business incentives not to. Without legally binding mechanisms that provide greater clarity on what and how data can be shared with […]

The anti-vaccine propaganda group America’s Frontline Doctors has partnered with Project Veritas, the far-right group known for deceptively editing videos of its undercover operations, on a video series called “Doc Tracy: Physician Investigator.” The series appears to be aimed at harassing medical regulators and spreading Covid-19 pandemic disinformation. The series stars Christopher Rake, a former […]

Earlier this week I asked, “What should be done about medical misinformation, if anything? Why?” I noted that one faction wants to take action against it while another wants institutions to stay viewpoint-neutral and allow all perspectives to be aired. Carol argues that the stakes are high: Medical misinformation is contributing to America’s growing death […]

I sometimes think about what the, oh, 1997 version of me would find most surprising about the news industry of today. For all that’s happened in the worlds of newspapers and TV news, I think it might be magazines that would throw me for the biggest loop. “You know Newsweek — the Cracked to Time’s […]

In the early 21st century, the internet—and the social internet, in particular—has enabled a more connected world. But it’s also enabled and amplified some of humanity’s worst behaviors. Fringy, toxic opinions and outright disinformation proliferate. Antisocial behavior is normalized. Facts—when they can be recognized—are used to bolster preexisting opinions, not to challenge assumptions. Kids (and […]

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