News on Mitigating Misinformation

In the past week, we’ve seen the CDC pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and new cases among the vaccinated in Michigan — coming together to paint a somewhat bleak picture of the state-of-our-vaccines. Or so it might seem. In the latest edition of our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbooks, we examine the fuzzy math […]

Catherine didn’t have much to do with mainstream medicine. Social media pushed her down a rabbit hole – but also dragged her back out again. Catherine’s family believed in alternative medicine and she grew up in relatively poor, fringe communities that didn’t have much to do with mainstream science or Britain’s national health system. And […]

In March, Twitter put its foot down: users who repeatedly spread false information about COVID-19 vaccines will have their accounts suspended or shut down. It was a new front in a high-stakes battle over misinformation that could help to determine how many people get vaccinated, and how swiftly the pandemic ends. The battle is also […]

The exponential increase in demand for and dissemination of information about COVID‐19 means the pandemic has been accompanied by an ‘infodemic’. This overabundance of accurate and inaccurate information is not limited to scientific or policy publications but threatens to overwhelm news and social media outlets. As noted by Eysenbach, the price of freedom of speech […]

Early yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that the US pause distribution of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine following reports of blood clotting in six recipients, all of them women aged between eighteen and forty-eight, one of whom has died and another of whom is critically […]

He has been pushed off Facebook and banned from Twitter, but Larry Cook battles on at StopMandatoryVaccination.com, where the Los Angeles man tries to explain why COVID-19 vaccines are evil and why President Donald Trump — who he insists will return to power — got one anyway. Some evangelical Christians tie the vaccines to Satan, […]

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Switching between Swahili and English, Dr. Frank Minja asked the African immigrants on the Zoom call if they had any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Minja, who is originally from Tanzania, was asked how to get the vaccine, how it works, whether it’s safe. Then one person asked him about a video promoting the conspiracy […]

In addition to testing American democracy, November’s election and the subsequent storming of the U.S. Capitol put social media to the test. Facebook and its rivals have spent years creating technology to combat the spread of disinformation, violent rhetoric, and hate speech. By some measure, the systems did better than ever in filtering out hundreds of millions of inflammatory posts. But ultimately the technology […]

Riggleman stood virtually alone. It was Oct. 2, on the floor of the House of Representatives, and he rose as one of only two Republicans in the chamber to speak in favor of a resolution denouncing QAnon. Mr. Riggleman, a freshman congressman from Virginia, had his own personal experiences with fringe ideas, both as a […]

When Sarah Downs tweeted about how her grandmother had died from Covid-19, there was one response she did not expect. “I had just posted a message on Twitter basically saying my amazing grandma passed away and she meant a lot to me,” she says. “So then I had someone asking me, ‘Well, was there an […]

Last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held yet another hearing to grill social media CEOs about the mis- and disinformation on their platforms. While much of the hearing consisted of members soliciting soundbites from the executives on everything from social media’s impacts on children to alleged anti-Conservative bias, one statement from Rep. Mike […]

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