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

Forthcoming

This Live Research Review is scheduled for publication in the coming months. In the meantime, you can find articles related to this topic in our Citation Library.

Latest News on How Misinformation Spreads

On July 13, 2018, five friends took a road trip to the south Indian village of Handikera, which is in the state of Karnataka. The five men, Salham al-Kubassi, Mohammed Salman, Mohammed Azam, Mohammed Afroz and Noor Mohammad, traveled to the outskirts of town for a picnic. They drove by children getting out of school […]

The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal. The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global […]

Last September, an image of a New York Times headline began circulating online, claiming that Abdullah Abdullah, a candidate for the Afghan presidency, had taken millions of dollars from Pakistan. Though the Times never published such a story, the convincing fake image—complete with the font and website design—exploited longstanding divisions in Afghan politics during a closely contested […]

Even though internal Fox News documents caution that frequent guests Rudy Giuliani and John Solomon traffic in “disinformation,” the network can’t seem to quit booking them. Since The Daily Beast first reported on the 162-page document, produced by the network’s research division known as the “Brain Room,” Giuliani—who, according to the briefing, has a “high […]

College students, Alec Baldwin or a Russian bot? A Facebook page called North Carolina Breaking News describes itself as “satire/parody” that wants to help President Donald Trump win re-election this fall. The page, which has garnered more than 50,000 followers since it was created Jan. 24, posts a mix of real and fake news. Now […]

Featured Scholars

Robertson Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin
Harvard Law School, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society