News on How Misinformation Spreads

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 […]

In 2010, Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand, Goop, was just starting to get its goop-y mojo rolling. Tom Brady’s lifestyle company, TB12, wasn’t around, so we had no way of learning about bogus fitness concepts like muscle pliability. And Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, a fearmongering and pseudoscience-based business that is currently worth over a billion […]

On December 20, 2019 Twitter announced the removal of 88,000 accounts managed by Smaat, a digital marketing company based in Saudi Arabia, and attributed thousands of these accounts to involvement in “a significant state-backed information operation”. On December 17 Twitter shared with the Stanford Internet Observatory 32,054,257 tweets from 5,929 randomly sampled accounts. In this […]

On Friday, I published an article about misinformation running high in Microsoft Bing search queries results based on a study conducted at Stanford by two men, a student and a postdoctoral scholar. For me, the study presented unanswered questions based on the findings, which claim that Microsoft Bing returns disinformation and misinformation in query results at “a significantly higher […]

Disinformation is currently an important threat to modern democratic societies and has a critical impact on the quality of public life. This article presents an organic approach to understanding of the issue of disinformation that is derived from the context of the Czech Republic. The approach builds on the various similarities with virology where disinformation […]

Numerical facts play a prominent role in public discourse, but individuals often provide incorrect estimates of policy-relevant numerical quantities (e.g., the number of immigrants in the country). Across two studies, we examined the role of schemas in the creation of numerical misinformation, and how misinformation can spread via person-to-person communication. In our first study, we […]

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  Facebook’s senior leadership is increasingly divided over how to address criticism of the company’s effect on U.S. politics, with board member and billionaire investor Peter Thiel serving as an influential voice advising CEO Mark Zuckerberg not to bow to public pressure, according to people familiar with the matter. One flashpoint of late: political advertisements. Mr. Thiel has argued […]

On Dec. 17, 2019, Knight Foundation released a two-part study analyzing the political dynamics of 86 million tweets. Download part one of the study here, download part two of the study here, and read an analysis below from Evette Alexander, Knight Foundation director for learning and impact. The old adage remains true: birds of a […]

Bing’s importance in the information landscape of the U.S. shouldn’t be overlooked. While its share of the search market in the U.S. might be dwarfed by that of Google, it has steadily increased over the past ten years. Bing’s partnerships with Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, and Apple mean that even users who don’t use Bing as […]

The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on a newly funded project aimed at analysing trends in misinformation, elections, and the public understanding of science and politics. We are looking for a colleague who can help us develop an interdisciplinary approach to the problem at hand combining social […]

Following a November 21 strike across Colombia, videos showing looting — which suggested Venezuelan migrants and vandals were alleged to have committed — appeared on Instagram and Twitter, among other social media platforms. On WhatsApp, inflammatory and xenophobic audio clips and text messages encouraged Colombians to defend their homes from looting and vandalism. Colombia is […]

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