News on How Misinformation Spreads

A false claim that a big wave of arson is driving Australia’s raging bushfires has gone viral this week on social media, particularly among climate skeptics grasping for a counter-narrative about the wildfire disaster. Donald Trump Jr. and Sean Hannity were among the most prominent tweeters this week of the allegation that close to 200 […]

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This article seeks to extend social science scholarship on social media technology use during disruptive events. Though social media’s role in times of crisis has been previously studied, much of this work tends to focus on first-responders and relief organizations. However, social media use during disasters tends to be decentralized and this organizational structure can […]

This study explains how bots interact with human users and influence conversational networks on Twitter. We analyze a high-stakes political environment, the UK general election of May 2015, asking human volunteers to tweet from purpose-made Twitter accounts—half of which had bots attached—during three events: the last Prime Minister’s Question Time before Parliament was dissolved (#PMQs), […]

This article presents the first steps towards a sociological understanding of emergent social media. This article uses Twitter, the most popular social media website, as its focus. Recently, the social media site has been prominently associated with social movements in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria. Rather than rush to breathlessly describe its novel role in […]

The rise of digital technologies has the potential to open new directions in ethnography. Despite the ubiquity of these technologies, their infiltration into popular sociological research methods is still limited compared to the insatiable uptake of online scholarly research portals. This article argues that social researchers cannot afford to continue this trend. Building upon pioneering […]

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Facebook on Thursday defied public calls to adopt significant new limits on political advertising ahead of the 2020 presidential election, opting instead to introduce minor changes that it said would give users a measure of control over the ads they see. The company’s new rules continue to permit politicians to make false claims in their […]

.entry-header The National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies is pleased to announce the release of a new working paper, “Demand for Deceit: How the Way We Think Drives Disinformation,” authored by Samuel Woolley and Katie Joseff. This publication is part of an International Forum working paper series, examining the dynamics and impact […]

Today, an estimated 75% of the British public access information about politics and public life online, and 40% do so via social media. With this context in mind, we investigate information sharing patterns over social media in the lead-up to the 2019 UK General Elections, and ask: (1) What type of political news and information […]

The Russian-sponsored Internet Research Agency’s (IRA) use of social media to influence U.S. political discourse is undoubtedly troubling. However, scholarly attention has focused on social media, overlooking the role that news media within the country played in amplifying false, foreign messages. In this article, we examine articles in the U.S. news media system that quoted […]

Propaganda is changing in a Digital Age. What once was a top-down effort to the masses has through the internet become a participatory affair. As people increasingly “plug-in” to online services, a wealth of personal data aggregated by internet giants facilitates the creation and distribution of tailored provocative messaging, which savvy propagandists then push through […]

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