News on How Misinformation Spreads

Earlier this week, Jean-Claude Louis was catching up with an acquaintance who worked in the medical field when the coronavirus vaccine came up. “I will never get the vaccine,” she told him. “You don’t know what you’re getting.” As the coordinator of Panos Institute, a Haitian nonprofit that trains journalists and youth on media literacy […]

Commercial “influence-for-hire” services are increasingly manipulating online discussions by promoting government policies in countries throughout the Asia Pacific region, according to the new report published this week, by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), an Australian-based think tank. ASPI’s research analyzed online behavior in the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and Australia and found evidence of financially […]

This essay advocates a critical approach to disinformation research that is grounded in history, culture, and politics, and centers questions of power and inequality. In the United States, identity, particularly race, plays a key role in the messages and strategies of disinformation producers and who disinformation and misinformation resonates with. Expanding what “counts” as disinformation […]

Cyber Ninjas — the company running the GOP’s so-called “audit” of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County, Arizona — is expected to finally release a report summarizing its findings sometime in the next few weeks. But if past is precedent, the document will likely leave people in a fog of confusion. That’s because the […]

On June 26, thousands of people gathered in central London to protest against the U.K. government’s Covid-19 restrictions — never mind that most of the measures were due to be lifted in two weeks’ time. Billed as the Freedom March, the event drew a crowd comprising a wide range of groups and individuals. Among them […]

A social media site for doctors is seeing “hundreds of comments”— many with false claims and conspiracy theories— on posts about the COVID-19 vaccine and the pandemic, according to a new report from CNBC. Doximity is limited to healthcare professionals in the US— it verifies members before they can join— and no one who posts […]

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Facebook is allowing false claims about the election “audit” in Arizona to run rampant on its platform, much of it spread by militia groups trying to rile up their supporters about a stolen election, according to a Tech Transparency Project (TTP) investigation that shows Facebook’s continuing role as a vector for misinformation and extremism. TTP […]

It is obvious to anyone who is paying attention that the sham “audit” of 2020 votes underway in Arizona is not about actually reaffirming the vote count. It’s about furthering the spread of more disinformation about the outcome in the state — and about the 2020 outcome overall. Here’s something that could make this problem […]

Megan Peña considers herself and her family “very pro-vaccine.” She said she and her husband got their COVID-19 shots when they were eligible, and when her daughter Laila turned 12 in July and became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, she assumed Laila would be similarly excited for immunization. “She just was like, ‘No, I don’t […]

The Freedom’s Phoenix, a local news site in Phoenix, and The Atlanta Business Journal, a news site in Atlanta, both published the same article about coronavirus vaccines in March. The author was Joseph Mercola, who researchers and regulators have said is a top spreader of misleading Covid-19 information. In the article, Dr. Mercola inaccurately likened […]

The most visible vaccine-skeptical public figures, the likes of Tucker Carlson or Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), understand this. They don’t need to spread demonstrable falsehoods. They can simply focus night after night on outlier cases of severe side effects. Or they can selectively present results of scientific studies or government communications in ways that seem […]

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