Articles on Social media and democracy

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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.
Adding bots into an online discussion can definitely affect the views of real people. Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock.com

Even a few bots can shift public opinion in big ways

Measuring Twitter bots' effects on the opinions of real people can yield surprising results about what makes them influential.
Do you want to be friends with this person? Sasun Bughdaryan

Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?

Almost every online deception, fraud and scam – even propaganda and misinformation campaigns – begins with a fake social media profile. How do fakers get real people to agree to be friends?
Civic groups like the Boy Scouts are likely under attack by Russian agents – and likely don’t know it. Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

Why the Russians might hack the Boy Scouts next

Russia is trying to create social tension in the US to boost its own strength on the world stage. That includes targeting society itself.
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.
Balancing personal privacy with detailed insights. Dawn Hudson/Shutterstock.com

I want your (anonymized) social media data

Researchers analyze social media data to gain useful insights into modern society and culture. But it's important to protect users' privacy. How can both ends meet?
How does searching affect voting? Blablo101/Shutterstock.com

When will Google defend democracy?

Social media sites aren't the only online systems that can secretly influence people's votes. Search engines can too and may be even more successful – and undetectable.

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