Articles on Social media

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Police at the scene of a shooting in Toronto’s Greektown on July 23, 2018. The parents of Faisal Hussain, whose shooting spree left two people dead and 13 injured, say their son had struggled all his life with psychosis and depression, but none of the medications or therapies he tried were able to overcome his mental illness. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Social media can be information poison when we need facts most

Social media abhors informational vacuums and speed eclipses accuracy. That allows pseudo-experts, agitators and even liars to circulate rumours and poisonous information when big news breaks.
Sign displaying the #metoo and #timesup message at the Women’s March in San Francisco in January, 2018. Shutterstock/SundryPhotography

Going viral: what social media activists need to know

Social media is a great tool for activists campaigning for social justice. But if it is not used with caution it can end up working against them.
The transformative nature of our move to a data-driven economy and society means that any data strategy will have long-lasting effects. That’s why the Canadian government needs to ask the right questions to the right people in its ongoing national consultations. (Shutterstock)

Why the public needs more say on data consultations

The Canadian government is right to hold public consultations on digital and data transformation given how profoundly it affects society at large. But the scope is far too narrow.
People who share potential misinformation on Twitter (in purple) rarely get to see corrections or fact-checking (in orange). Shao et al.

Misinformation and biases infect social media, both intentionally and accidentally

Information on social media can be misleading because of biases in three places – the brain, society and algorithms. Scholars are developing ways to identify and display the effects of these biases.

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