How Misinformation Spreads

Among the more worrisome aspects of dis- and misinformation in the digital age are the number of people it can reach in a short time, and the persistent recurrence of its narratives in online spaces. What facilitates its spread on social media? How do traditional media amplify disinformation? This collection addresses scholarship on network effects and individual behaviors in spreading misinformation. 

Live Research Review

What are the factors that cause misinformation to spread? To answer this question, researchers have focused on two broad areas. One is the social and psychological characteristics of audience members who decide what to consume and share. Another is the social media networks themselves, and the technologies that encourage and discourage user behaviors.

Teaching & Learning

Explore course modules, handouts, teaching tools and syllabi about dis- and misinformation.

Latest News on How Misinformation Spreads

Tracking how social media platforms respond to misinformation is crucial to understanding the risks and dangers that platforms can pose to democratic elections. At the Integrity Institute, we are tracking how misinformation performs on platforms to measure the extent to which platforms are amplifying misinformation, and the extent to which they are creating an incentive […]

The Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University, Bloomington invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow position. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2023. The position is initially for 12 months and can be renewed for up to 24 additional months, depending on performance and funds availability. The Fellow will work with Filippo Menczer and collaborators at IU and […]

The Department of Communication in the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky invites applications for a tenure-eligible (also known as tenure-track) position at the Assistant Professor level (Regular Title Series) with an anticipated start date of Aug. 16, 2023. Questions regarding the position may be directed to the Search Committee Chair, […]

In particular candidates whose scholarship speaks to the following broad substantive topics are encouraged to apply: Social media politics Information disorder (misinformation, disinformation, etc.) Online political and civic participation Political power in information systems While these areas of expertise are of particular interest, candidates with expertise and interest in other relevant topics that apply data […]

July 29, when Beyoncé’s new album dropped, was a great day for her Wikipedia article, which received more than 90,000 views. But that same day, another article, Recession, racked up more than 200,000 views, pushing it past the entries for Beyoncé, the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, World War II, and Earth—combined. The deluge of […]

Featured Scholars

University of Birmingham, Honorary Research Fellow
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin
Robertson Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia
Executive Director of First Draft News