News on How Misinformation Spreads

Misinformation ran rampant on Facebook throughout the 2016 presidential election, and critics remain concerned that the social media giant has not done enough to address the problem. With the 2020 election approaching, it’s worth looking at which pockets of the country could potentially be the most exposed to misinformation — that is, fake news — […]

The comment sections of blogs can influence perceptions of consensus, which can in turn influence beliefs about climate change, according to new research published in the journal Memory & Cognition. The findings suggest that readers “may be nudged towards rejection of climate science if they encounter a stream consisting of contrarian comments.” “Social media has […]

In a fresh analysis of the state of ‘disinformation’ in the run-up to the 2019 UK General Election, researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford have found overall levels of ‘junk news’ circulating in the run-up to the 2019 election are relatively low. Junk news sites posted an average of 9.6 stories […]

“A very #MerryChristmas⁠ ⁠to all,” Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top antitrust enforcer, wrote on Facebook last December. Her post attracted 144 “likes.” A few months later, as an experiment, researchers paid a company a few dollars to attract attention to her well wishes. In 30 minutes, the post had 100 more likes. The researchers had similar results […]

From the 2014 invasion of Ukraine to more recent attempts to interfere in democratic elections, antagonists seeking to influence their adversaries have turned to social media manipulation. At the heart of this practice is a flourishing market dominated by Manipulation Service Providers (MSPs) based in Russia. Buyers range from individuals to companies to state-level actors. […]

Over one billion people use the Internet globally. Psychologists are beginning to understand what people do online, and the impact being online has on behaviour. It’s making us re-think many of our existing assumptions about what it means to be a social being. For instance, if we can talk, flirt, meet people and fall in […]

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In July, US president Donald Trump posted a now-infamous thread on Twitter: “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously […]

Investigations of influence operations and information warfare methodologies tend to focus heavily on the use of inauthentic social media activity and websites purpose built to propagate misinformation, disinformation and misleading narratives. There are, however, a range of other methodologies that bad actors can exploit. One way in which obviously false content can be spread quickly, […]

The message from Israel arrived on an otherwise unremarkable afternoon for 36-year-old Beau Villereal. At his family’s sprawling 42-acre property outside Live Oak in Florida’s rural north, Villereal sat alone in his bedroom trawling for news about Donald Trump to share on the rightwing Facebook page he runs with his mother and father. The messenger, […]

The time is July 1969. President Richard Nixon hurriedly takes his seat in the Oval Office, perched in front of an American flag and a flag of the United States seal. The president is clutching a handful of papers laying out a speech written for him by Bill Safire, a senior aide. “Good evening, my […]

The news media industry has changed as the internet and social media have matured and become integral to modern life. I describe these changes through a theoretical analysis of the economic structure of the industry and explore the implications for scholars of online media and politics. The crux of my argument is that social media […]

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