Articles on Misinformation

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As Americans go to the polls, the voting process and the information environment are still not secure. AP Photo/David Goldman

Threats remain to US voting system – and voters’ perceptions of reality

Protecting democracy requires more than just technical solutions. It includes education, critical thinking and members of society working together to agree on problems and find solutions.
Social media misinformation rose significantly before the 2016 presidential election. Georgejmclittle/shutterstock.com

Unlike in 2016, there was no spike in misinformation this election cycle

The Iffy Quotient measured misinformation on social media in the run-up to the recent elections. Facebook has gotten better at combating untrustworthy links, but Twitter still struggles.
Congolese health workers prepare equipment before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo

How the media falls short in reporting epidemics

A study of recent epidemics like Zika and Ebola suggests that the media may fail to tell the public what to do during an outbreak.
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.
From left to right: Prince Oguguo, Carol Margaret Bitner, Sharon Crost, Michelle Mielly and Gazi Islam at the Grenoble Ecole de Management’s “Oxford-style debate”, part of the school’s 10th geopolitics festival.

Fake news meets fact in an Oxford-style debate revival

As part of the Grenoble École de Management’s 2018 Geopolitics Festival, four scholars explored the art of debate -- an antidote for toxic conversations in the fake-news era.
We don’t automatically question information we read or hear. Gaelfphoto/Shutterstock.com

Why you stink at fact-checking

Cognitive psychologists know the way our minds work means we not only don't notice errors and misinformation we know are wrong, we also then remember them as true.
Rohingya Muslim women who fled Myanmar for Bangladesh stretch their arms out to collect aid distributed by relief agencies in this September 2017 photo. A campaign of killings, rape and arson attacks by security forces and Buddhist-aligned mobs have sent more than 850,000 of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya fleeing. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)

Unliked: How Facebook is playing a part in the Rohingya genocide

Facebook is unwittingly helping fuel a genocide against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Does Cuba’s internet model provide lessons to manage social media amid political chaos?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed as “crazy” the warnings that Russia had been using Facebook to spread propaganda in the 2016 U.S. election. He has since apologized and introduced plans and tools aimed at fighting false information on the platform. In this file photo, he delivers the commencement address at Harvard University in May. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Regulate social media platforms before it’s too late

In a fight for the global flow of information, social media firms must be regulated. Their billions of dollars in revenue put their financial interests in conflict with truth and democracy.
Exxon funded climate scientists while the bulk of its public-facing advertorials argued the science and cause of climate change was uncertain. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

I was an Exxon-funded climate scientist

A new study confirms what many already know: Exxon for years sowed uncertainty and doubt about climate change in the public. Should scientists reject certain funding sources?
The message might not come through if you put all your communication eggs in one theoretical basket. buydeephoto/Shutterstock.com

Facts versus feelings isn’t the way to think about communicating science

Reports of facts' death have been greatly exaggerated. Effective communication jettisons the false dilemma in favor of a more holistic view of how people take in new information on contentious topics.
A shot of fake news now and your defenses are raised in the future? funnyangel/Shutterstock.com.

Inoculation theory: Using misinformation to fight misinformation

Does science have an answer to science denial? Just as being vaccinated protects you from a later full-blown infection, a bit of misinformation explained could help ward off other cases down the road.

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