News on Defining "Disinformation"

The violent insurrection against the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, may prove to be a critical juncture in terms of how our media ecosystem treats disinformation and the individuals and organizations who produce it. On that day, we witnessed exactly what those of us who research the disinformation problem have feared the most, a […]

Last week, a mob incited by President Trump stormed the United States Capitol building. Rioters broke windows, beat law enforcement officers, vandalized offices and tried to track down members of Congress with mayhem in mind. At least five people died. For those of us who cover climate change for a living, the blatant lies about […]

When the pandemic hit last March, 27-year-old Jennifer*, a childcare worker from Virginia, was furloughed from her job, leaving her with little to do but curl up anxiously on her couch with her phone. She’d spend hours a day scrolling through Facebook and Instagram posts about self-healing, spirituality, and trauma, mostly by wellness types she […]

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our modern public health infrastructure like never before. Why have some nations successfully contained the virus, while others have failed? How can we use these insights to better prepare for and prevent future pandemics?On January 12-13, 2021, join health, science, and policy leaders at the Futures Forum on Preparedness to […]

This was one mob they found a way to excuse. Even as scores of President Trump’s usually unfailing loyalists condemned him for moving too slowly to call off the swarm of demonstrators that stormed and ransacked the Capitol, many of his most vocal and visible allies in Congress, the media and conservative politics still could […]

After November 3, some believers in the conspiracy theory that the US presidential election was rigged joined together, undeterred by official assurances of a fair and secure vote, to crowdsource evidence of massive fraud. They organized under hashtags like #DominionWatch, staking out election facilities in Georgia and doxxing voting-machine technicians. The ad hoc group investigation […]

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As in the rest of the world, in Latin America, disinformation and fake news on the Internet spread rapidly and cause social damage, impacting public policies and electoral processes, among other harm. As a result, several governments and legislators on the continent have proposed and approved laws to curb them, including the imposition of prison […]

Internet disinformation, fraud and harassment have emerged as global concerns. While governments, industry, and civil society groups around the world struggle to address these concerns, there is little comparative data on public perception of the risks associated with using social media and the internet. In this memo, we analyze survey data of 154,195 participants living in 142 countries. On average, people […]

Who says academics can’t work on tight deadlines? A few days after the 2016 U.S. presidential election — you may remember it, a real estate guy won — a group of political scientists, communications scholars, and other academics put together a collection of 80-plus pieces reacting to the result through the lens of social science. […]

Platforms are increasingly using transparency, whether it be in the form of political advertising disclosures or a record of page name changes, to combat disinformation campaigns. In the case of state-controlled media outlets on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter this has taken the form of labeling their connection to a state. We show that these labels […]

In 2020, amid a pandemic and protests and a presidential election, misinformation lays in wait everywhere. It’s on our social media feeds, coming out of the mouths of our politicians, and printed in pamphlets mailed to our doors, intermingling indistinguishably with facts. The World Health Organization has termed this an infodemic. Some of it is […]

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