News on How Misinformation Spreads

The Boston Marathon bombing story unfolded on every possible carrier of information available in the spring of 2013, including Twitter. As information spread, it was filled with rumors (unsubstantiated information), and many of these rumors contained misinformation. Earlier studies have suggested that crowdsourced information flows can correct misinformation, and our research investigates this proposition. This […]

As web services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo now dominate the daily activities of Internet users, cyber criminals have adapted their monetization strategies to engage users within these walled gardens. To facilitate access to these sites, an underground market has emerged where fraudulent accounts – automatically generated credentials used to perpetrate scams, phishing, […]

Guided by the frameworks of niche and polymedia theories, this study sought to understand the phenomenon of platform-swinging on social media, which refers to the routine use of multiple social media platforms that has become commonplace across different ages. Based on focus group discussions (FGDs) with 62 social media users in Singapore, this study found […]

We propose a model of motivated skepticism that helps explain when and why citizens are biased-information processors. Two experimental studies explore how citizens evaluate arguments about affirmative action and gun control, finding strong evidence of a prior attitude effect such that attitudinally congruent arguments are evaluated as stronger than attitudinally incongruent arguments. When reading pro […]

Lies spread faster than the truth There is worldwide concern over false news and the possibility that it can influence political, economic, and social well-being. To understand how false news spreads, Vosoughi et al. used a data set of rumor cascades on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. About 126,000 rumors were spread by ∼3 million […]

Why do people believe blatantly inaccurate news headlines (“fake news”)? Do we use our reasoning abilities to convince ourselves that statements that align with our ideology are true, or does reasoning allow us to effectively differentiate fake from real regardless of political ideology? Here we test these competing accounts in two studies (total N = […]

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The share of U.S. adults who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically unchanged from where it stood in early 2018 despite a long stretch of controversies over privacy, fake news and censorship on social media, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7, 2019.

Is there a connection between increased use of digital media and changing patterns of political participation? This study tests how the use of online media for different purposes (social interaction, creative expression, online news use, social media news use) is related to three types of political participation. It examines whether mobilizing effects are partly indirect […]

The spread of cell phone technology across Africa has transforming effects on the economic and political sphere of the continent. In this paper, we investigate the impact of cell phone technology on violent collective action. We contend that the availability of cell phones as a communication technology allows political groups to overcome collective action problems […]

The social dynamics of “alternative facts”: why what you believe depends on who you know Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual […]

The current study used structural topic modeling to investigate the ways in which news of the 2017 Quebec mosque shooting mobilized global public discourse on Twitter. The resulting globally generated Twitter conversations were divided into 9 relevant topics, the prevalence of which were examined based on geographic and informational proximity to the location of the […]

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