News on How Misinformation Spreads

Kat Massey was a visible figure in Buffalo, New York. A longtime civil rights advocate who was active in various local causes, she also contributed articles to the Criterion and the Challenger, two Black newspapers in the city, the latter of which was founded in 1963 to, in its own words, offer the African-American community […]

When Hana found out she was pregnant, she knew she wanted to have an abortion – but her search for a clinic on Google led her to an anti-abortion centre, set on talking her out of her decision. In many US states, BBC News has seen misleading websites advertising these clinics appearing high up in […]

The town of Rockwall, Texas, has a few claims to fame: Bonafide Betties Pie Company, where “thick pies save lives”; the mega-sized Lakepointe Church; and Lake Ray Hubbard, which is lovely until the wet, Texas heat makes a shoreline stroll feel like a plod through hot butter. Now add to that list: Rockwall is home […]

Last month, Factchequeado launched as a way to address misinformation in Latino and Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. Founded by Laura Zommer of Chequeado in Argentina and Clara Jiménez Cruz of Maldita.es in Spain (both are fact-checking organizations), The idea for the venture emerged when Jiménez started noticing that misinformation in Spanish targeting U.S. […]

On this week’s show, we share an excerpt of a new podcast hosted by friend-of-the-show and NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny. The podcast follows one the the most viral and lingering conspiracy theories to come out of the pandemic. It all started when a nurse called Tiffany Dover fainted on camera after getting a Covid […]

The US$44 billion (£36 billion) purchase of Twitter by “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk has many people worried. The concern is the site will start moderating content less and spreading misinformation more, especially after his announcement that he would reverse the former US president Donald Trump’s ban. There’s good reason for the concern. Research shows […]

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A review of Richard L. Hasen, “Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics—and How to Cure It” (Yale University Press, 2022). *** In 1995, Eugene Volokh published a law review article in which he predicted that the rapidly growing internet would “dramatically reduce the costs of distributing speech” and that “the new media order that […]

Last week, a pair of leaks to the press shined a fresh light on the extent of US assistance to Ukraine in its war against Russia. On Wednesday, Julian E. Barnes, Helene Cooper, and Eric Schmitt, of the New York Times, reported, citing “senior American officials,” that the US has provided Ukrainian officials with locational […]

Brazilians know all about fake news. Digital hucksters have attacked the integrity of Brazil’s electronic voting system, baselessly accused adversaries of “teaching” homosexuality in the classroom and promoted faith-based covid-19 treatments, all with a nod and a wink from the presidential palace. Now the social media mobs, with the blessings of Brazil’s “cabinet of hate,” are trolling the world’s largest tropical […]

Anti-vaccine sentiments have been simmering in the U.S. since at least 1998, when the Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, published—and later retracted—a fraudulent paper falsely linking childhood vaccines to autism. They’ve grown even stronger in the past two years, thanks to disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines. Though the development of the COVID-19 vaccines happened at an […]

In March 2022, a Vietnamese Facebook post accused Ukrainians of slandering late president Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Tifosi, a pro-state blogger and one of the most influential “netizens” in Vietnam with a massive following, alleged that Ukraine’s 24TV and the Pravda news outlet had called Ho Chi […]

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