News on How Misinformation Spreads

When Amanda Gardner, an educator with two decades of experience, helped to start a new charter elementary and middle school outside of Seattle last year, she did not anticipate teaching students who denied that the Holocaust happened, argued that Covid is a hoax and told their teacher that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. Yet […]

Spotify probably didn’t realize it, but it ceased being a tech company a few years ago. It was excelling at all the tech startup things—attracting users and losing money—but like most businesses, it eventually wanted to make a profit. The company was having a tough time doing that simply by streaming music, which proved to […]

GETTING YOUR GOAT: Connoisseurs of medical-misinformation tales have probably heard of Kansas doctor John Brinkley. His claim to fame can be summed up very simply: He became rich and famous — able to win 30 percent of the vote for Kansas governor as a write-in candidate — due to his avid promotion of the transplantation […]

There is currently no easy way to discover potentially problematic content on WhatsApp and other end-to-end encrypted platforms at scale. In this paper, we analyze the usefulness of a crowd-sourced tipline through which users can submit content (“tips”) that they want fact-checked. We compared the tips sent to a WhatsApp tipline run during the 2019 […]

In the spring of 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) exploded when Donald Trump cited a baseless conspiracy theory that claimed Cruz’s Cuban-born father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. At a news conference in Evansville, Indiana, Cruz, then competing in the GOP presidential primary against the front-running Trump, slammed the celebrity TV […]

This week, Spotify removed the musical catalog of Neil Young from its platform. On Monday, the legendary rocker published a letter decrying the Swedish streamer for spreading false information about Covid-19 vaccines. In it, he cited the Spotify-exclusive podcast The Joe Rogan Experience in particular: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” Spotify quickly […]

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Joseph Mercola, a leading anti-vaccine advocate whose screeds have been restricted by YouTube and Facebook, this month warned that the unvaccinated might soon be imprisoned in government-run camps. The week before, he circulated a study purporting to use government data to prove that more children had died of covid shots than from the coronavirus itself. […]

After Donald Trump was elected, in 2016, misinformation—and its more toxic cousin, disinformation—began to feel like an increasingly urgent social and political emergency. Concerns about Russian trolls meddling in American elections were soon joined by hoaxes and conspiracy theories involving covid-19. Even those who could agree on how to define mis- and disinformation, however, debated […]

Late on Saturday night, local time, British government officials published a highly unusual press release under an ultra-clickable headline: “Kremlin plan to install pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine exposed.” The officials went on to do the exposing, claiming to “have information that indicates” the Putin regime’s desire to replace Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, with a puppet, […]

To address the spread and severity of online hate and disinformation, and the mammoth challenge they have posed to human rights protection, this strategy paper calls for keen attention toward dynamic scenarios where online vitriolic expressions, actors, practices, networks, and technologies are in a state of constant flux and evolution, and therefore, evasive and slippery […]

When thousands of protesters gathered on the National Mall on Sunday morning to protest Covid vaccine mandates, they did so, they insisted, to preserve personal freedoms. “No more mandates!” they shouted as they marched, serpentine and coiled, like the snakes on the “Don’t Tread On Me” flags hoisted above their heads. “This is not about […]

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