News on How Misinformation Spreads

As Covid-19 cases in Peru rose rapidly during the early months of the pandemic, public interest in the drug ivermectin surged. Misleading information suggesting the drug, used to treat parasites in humans and livestock, had been proven effective against coronavirus reached many Peruvians online, doctors told the Guardian. With vaccines still in development, desperate physicians […]

Google Fonts   Earlier this month, Dr. Rashid Buttar posted on Twitter that COVID-19 “was a planned operation” and shared an article alleging that most people who got vaccinated against the coronavirus would be dead by 2025. His tweets are a recent addition to a steady stream of spurious claims about the COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Another example is […]

Preaching to the choir, shouting in an echo chamber — whatever your preferred metaphor is, a study published earlier this week in the Journal of the European Economic Association sheds some light on what may be happening when people are surrounded by others with like-minded views — and especially when they have a tough time […]

This article explores the ways in which offline conspiracist material concerned with Covid-19 is presented and structured through a content analysis of The Light, a newspaper produced and distributed by activists in the U.K. Our analysis shows that conspiracy theories related to Covid-19 are included alongside a range of other, non-conspiracist content and that readers […]

Is there something WEIRD about fact-checking? Much of the research about combating misinformation with fact-checking comes from experiments that looked at single countries in North America, Europe, and Australia. By over-relying on Western, educated, industrialized, and rich countries — known, charmingly, to scholars as “WEIRD” populations — for data, were scholars making claims about fact-checking […]

Social media platforms should allow public access to harmful speech by politicians and government officials, but should refrain from amplifying that speech through algorithms, argued Knight Institute Litigation Director Alex Abdo in a recent virtual panel hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. “The public interest in the speech of politicians is high. It matters to the […]

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called on Facebook to “clean up the act” on abortion misinformation on Monday, as part of her state’s response to Texas’s “fetal heartbeat” abortion ban. The new governor said at a briefing that New York is sending a letter to Facebook on Monday requesting the social media giant’s assistance in “a […]

It’s been 20 years since the attacks on the twin towers, the Pentagon and the crash of United 93 in a field in Shanksville, Pa., and in some ways the most important legacy of 9/11 can be boiled down to one maddening question: What is the truth? In our pandemic moment, in the aftermath of […]

Last week, KFOR, a local news outlet in Oklahoma, published a story that contained some terrifying information: so many people in the state were hospitalized due to overdoses of ivermectin—a drug originally designed for horses, which some anti-vaccine sources have promoted (incorrectly) as a defense against COVID-19—that there was no room in intensive-care units for […]

Even though nearly three-fourths of adults in the U.S. had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of early September, vaccine hesitancy remains an important public health concern worldwide, hampering efforts to contain the pandemic. Although not a new phenomenon, the topic has taken on a greater urgency because of the pandemic. […]

A forthcoming study about misinformation on Facebook will say that false stories earned more clicks than facts six times over during the 2020 election, The Post reports. Facebook will say the study itself misinforms. This story is familiar: Researchers repeatedly publish findings on the far and fast spread of sensational material on social media sites, and […]

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