News on How Misinformation Spreads

The exponential increase in demand for and dissemination of information about COVID‐19 means the pandemic has been accompanied by an ‘infodemic’. This overabundance of accurate and inaccurate information is not limited to scientific or policy publications but threatens to overwhelm news and social media outlets. As noted by Eysenbach, the price of freedom of speech […]

On the night after the November 3 election, hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump filled the parking lot of an election center in Arizona’s Maricopa County, where officials were still counting ballots. Although most networks had yet to call the state for Joe Biden, Fox News had declared him the projected winner shortly before midnight […]

Propaganda has a history and so does research on it. In other words, the mechanisms and methods through which media scholars have sought to understand propaganda—or misinformation, or disinformation, or fake news, or whatever you would like to call it—are themselves historically embedded and carry with them underlying notions of power and causality. To summarize […]

Since the 2016 US presidential election, the deliberate spread of misinformation online, and on social media in particular, has generated extraordinary concern, in large part because of its potential effects on public opinion, political polarization, and ultimately democratic decision making. Recently, however, a handful of papers have argued that both the prevalence and consumption of […]

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent demand, not just for scientific information and advice, but also for policy proposals that helped curb the spread of the virus while minimizing economic and other collateral societal effects. The research response has been unprecedented. After just 1 year, PubMed returns more than 100,000 publications, 10 […]

This report is part of an ongoing series examining COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on Facebook in countries and regions across the world. This edition, focusing on Arabic-language communities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) throughout January and February 2021, represents a landmark report in the series. By tracing a handful of anti-vaccination pages on […]

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On December 1, 2020, Drs. Wolfgang Wodarg and Micheal Yeadon petitioned to withhold emergency use authorization of the BNT162b2 messenger ribonucleic acid vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) manufactured by BioNTech and Pfizer, raising concern for female infertility risks but acknowledging the lack of evidence. The European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug […]

Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders and politicians to use its platform to deceive the public or harass opponents despite being alerted to evidence of the wrongdoing. The Guardian has seen extensive internal documentation showing how Facebook handled more than 30 cases across 25 countries of politically manipulative behavior that was proactively detected by company […]

The Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington is planning a virtual workshop, “Challenges and Considerations for Misinformation Research,” on May 6 that will bring together academic teams researching mis- and disinformation to reflect on research best practices, data ethics and hurdles, and the normative and epistemological foundations of our collective work. The CIP invites academic […]

To identify popular climate change misinformation circulating online, First Draft analyzed climate change-related conversations over the past year on the fringe platforms 4chan and 8kun. We found over 2,000 posts on 4chan falsely claiming “climate change is a scam.” A further 250 similar posts were identified on 8kun, the smaller, more radical board that took […]

YouTube released data on Tuesday arguing that it is getting better at spotting and removing videos that break its rules against disinformation, hate speech and other banned content. The Google-owned video service said 0.16 percent to 0.18 percent of all the video views on its platform during the fourth quarter of 2020 were on content that […]

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