News on How Misinformation Spreads

About the Talk The extent to which we value intuitive or evidence-based reasoning has important implications for our susceptibility to misinformation. National survey data from Nov-Dec 2020 demonstrate that Trump favorability, conservatism, and Republicanism are associated with instinct-based epistemic values and a rejection of expertise and evidence. Results also indicate that these same epistemic motivations […]

Many worldwide have now caught COVID. But during the pandemic many more are likely to have encountered something else that’s been spreading virally: misinformation. False information has plagued the COVID response, erroneously convincing people that the virus isn’t harmful, of the merits of various ineffective treatments, or of false dangers associated with vaccines. Often, this […]

U.S. lawmakers rarely agree these days. But across the political spectrum, most policymakers concur that digital platforms, including social media, messengers, and search engines, pose a problem. They might not agree on what the problem is exactly—either a scourge of unfettered disinformation or a censorship of conservative views—but one approach for answering that question is […]

Conspiracy theorists are using the aviation industry’s concerns about the launch of 5G services near airports as “proof” that their wild claims about the technology are also true. Whether it’s claims that 5G is being used to spread COVID, or that the next-gen wireless technology is part of a plot to control the human population, […]

A wealth of interventions have been devised to reduce belief in fake news or the tendency to share such news. By contrast, interventions aimed at increasing trust in reliable news sources have received less attention. In this article, we show that, given the very limited prevalence of misinformation (including fake news), interventions aimed at reducing […]

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is now accepting fellowship applications for the 2022-2023 academic year through our open call. This opportunity is for scholars who wish to spend 2022-2023 in residence in Cambridge, MA as part of the Center’s vibrant community of research and practice, and who seek to […]

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Have you had the experience of looking at some product online and then seeing ads for it all over your social media feed? Far from coincidence, these instances of eerily accurate advertising provide glimpses into the behind-the-scenes mechanisms that feed an item you search for on Google, “like” on social media or come across while […]

YouTube is a major conduit of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide and is not doing enough to tackle the spread of falsehoods on its platform, according to a global coalition of factchecking organisations. A letter signed by more than 80 groups, including Full Fact in the UK and the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, says the […]

Misinformation has been identified as a major contributor to various contentious contemporary events ranging from elections and referenda to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only can belief in misinformation lead to poor judgements and decision-making, it also exerts a lingering influence on people’s reasoning after it has been corrected — an effect known […]

On Dec. 29, The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website that often spreads conspiracy theories, published an article falsely implying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had withdrawn authorization of all P.C.R. tests for detecting Covid-19. The article collected 22,000 likes, comments and shares on Facebook and Twitter. On TikTok and Instagram, videos of […]

It starts with a superspreader, and winds its way through a network of interactions, eventually leaving no one untouched. Those who have been exposed previously may experience little effect when exposed to a different variant. No, it’s not a virus. It’s the contagious spread of misinformation and disinformation— misinformation that’s fully intended to deceive. Now […]

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