News on How Misinformation Spreads

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — In the summer of 2020, as pandemic shutdowns closed businesses and racial justice protests erupted on American streets, Rae Grulkowski, a 56-year-old businesswoman who had never been involved in politics but was alarmed about what was happening to the country, found a way to make a difference. The connection to the […]

YouTube’s recommendation algorithm pushes users into ideological filter bubbles that are stronger for viewers of right-wing content, according to new research by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) that highlights how the platform drives political polarization. Over hundreds of clicks and views, TTP researchers found that the YouTube algorithm creates a feedback loop for users who […]

In some rural Illinois ZIP codes, only one in five people have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. A lack of correct information seems to play a major role. A team at the University of Illinois is investigating how misinformation about COVID-19 spreads in rural areas of the state. U of I journalism professor Nikki Usher leads the team. […]

The powerful conservative youth group Turning Point USA, which has forged strong ties to Donald Trump and his son Don Trump Jr, has raised tens of millions of dollars from super rich donors and secret backers while pushing disinformation about Joe Biden’s win in 2020, Covid-19 vaccines and other extremist and rightwing issues. The group […]

The coronavirus pandemic continues to claim thousands of lives a week — mostly people who aren’t vaccinated. But that’s not stopping a major gathering of anti-vaccine advocates and conspiracy theorists in Nashville, Tenn., this weekend. The event is being orchestrated by Tennessee couple Ty and Charlene Bollinger. They have been labeled as some of the […]

Governments and civil society have tried a number of different approaches to fight misinformation. But the barriers are formidable. Latin America has among the world’s highest rates of social media use, making countries fertile territory for fake news. But several of the proposed solutions infringe on free speech or can be easily abused by authoritarian […]

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Our country has never really had a vaccine debate like the one we’re currently having. One reason is that the coronavirus pandemic forced us to produce, test and deploy vaccines much more quickly than ever before. And a second, big one is that our new media paradigm has provided much more of a platform for […]

Photographer Jonas Bendiksen’s newest book, ”The Book of Veles” (Gost, 2021), raises some really tough questions. At its most basic level, it asks us to contemplate how we know when something is real or fake. But its most important question may be, do we even care? “The Book of Veles” is fascinating, beautiful, heartbreaking and, […]

Back when a viral pandemic killing millions around the world was just the plot of a scary movie, the film “Contagion” was lauded for how accurately it depicted the way such an outbreak would occur. On the science of viral contagion, it was quite sharp, clearly explaining things like R0 (the measure of how widely […]

For two years, he ran websites and Facebook groups that spread bogus stories, conspiracy theories, and propaganda. Under him was a dedicated team of writers and editors paid to produce deceptive content—from outright hoaxes to political propaganda—with the supreme goal of tipping the 2016 election to Donald Trump. Through extensive efforts, he built a secret […]

Over 75 per cent of US adults have received at least one Covid-19 vaccination. Yet vaccination rates vary widely across regions and demographics. Among those who have received at least one vaccine (percentages are relative to their total population), 68 per cent are Asian, 52 per cent are white, 48 per cent are Hispanic and […]

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