News on How Misinformation Spreads

Fake news was widely cited as a problem during the 2016 US election, but a new analysis suggests that, at least in that country, it may not affect public opinion as much as has been suggested. Duncan Watts at the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues analysed the daily media consumption habits of people in the […]

On March 11, 2020 Twitter shared with the Stanford Internet Observatory accounts and tweets associated with five distinct takedowns. These include: Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt: 5,350 accounts and 36,523,977 tweets. The removed accounts were linked both to a September 2019 takedown of accounts linked to DotDev, a digital marketing firm operating out of Egypt […]

When medical authorities in China claimed they’d cured more than 750 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, using pseudoscience, one major British newspaper made sure there was space for China’s party line on the story. “Traditional Chinese medicine ‘helps fight coronavirus,’” declared the March 3 headline, in the online version of the […]

Top social media companies are adopting stricter rules to limit scams and thwart misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic. But posts continue to surface that violate them — underscoring how the companies are engaged in an infinite game of whack-a-mole that’s tough to win.  A page with more than 1,200 followers was peddling N95 masks on […]

Fox News host Laura Ingraham has deleted a tweet touting an unproven coronavirus treatment that a Twitter spokesperson said today ran afoul of its rules against misleading health information. Ingraham earlier this month tweeted praise for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug championed by President Donald Trump as a potential treatment for the virus, despite little evidence […]

Two weeks ago, national and world health authorities—and armchair experts and worried well-meaning people—were warning anyone concerned about Covid-19 to avoid ibuprofen. Now, facing contradictory evidence, they’ve backed off that claim. But the brief online furor over whether it’s safe to use the fever reducer, and the attention paid to the claim that it might […]

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Besides viruses, what else is terribly contagious? Lies, of course. As the coronavirus pandemic engulfs the world, disinformation associated with the virus has taken on many forms. Whether it’s your uncle sending you a Tom Hanks meme at 4 a.m. or the current occupant of the White House lying about Barack Obama supposedly harming the […]

Urgent Call for Papers: COVID-19 & Misinfodemics We invite concise, empirical papers (peer-reviewed, 3000 words) or evidence-based commentaries (edited, 1500 words) from all disciplines and methodologies, including case studies, experimental research, qualitative and ethnographic research, data and network sciences. We estimate that empirical papers will be published one month after submission, and evidence-based commentaries will […]

Disinformation-spewing online bots and trolls from halfway around the world are continuing to shape local and national debates by spreading lies online on a massive scale. In 2019, Russia used Facebook to intervene in the internal politics of eight African nations. Russia has a long history of using disinformation campaigns to undermine opponents – even […]

A tweet by entrepreneur Elon Musk suggesting children are “essentially immune” to coronavirus did not break Twitter’s rules, the company has said. This week, Twitter pledged to remove misinformation and tweets denying scientific facts about the virus. It even cited claims about child immunity as an example of misinformation that it would remove. […] Source: […]

On March 16th, 2020, virtually every major social media company released a joint statement on their efforts to curb the spread of disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. As of the writing of this article, the top comment on Facebook’s Twitter post of this statement is, itself, a piece of disinformation, furthering the conspiracy theory that […]

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