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South African opposition party leader, Mmusi Maimane, addressing the media. A viable media helps promote political accountability. EPA-EFE/Brenton Geach

Why economic questions are key to Africa’s media freedom debate

The sustainability of the news media is a precondition for good journalism in the public interest. Thus, economic questions should form part of discussions of press freedom.
Information warfare in cyberspace could replace reason and reality with rage and fantasy. Shutterstock

How information warfare in cyberspace threatens our freedom

Simulation models show just how effectively fake news and propaganda can shift opinions.
Many people are turned away by abusive language on online news sites but new research reveals that only 15 per cent of comments are “nasty.” (Shutterstock)

Online news trolls not as bad as we think

Are online trolls as bad as we think? New research reveals that most online news comments contribute positively to the conversation.
Being in a park tends to make people feel more positive, although the time of day and the season also affect their moods. leungchopan/Shutterstock

Tweet all about it – people in parks feel more positive

The positive mood of tweets varies with time of day and season, but it's consistently higher in parks than in built-up areas, where people are more likely to express anger and fears.
With hectic scheduling and constant teaching demands, teachers are turning to social media to meet urgent professional learning needs. Shutterstock

Why teachers are turning to Twitter

Twitter provides a low-cost, easy to access platform for teachers to connect with other teachers, gain support and find resources that fit their specific professional development needs.
Cutouts depicting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wearing ‘Fix Fakebook’ displayed on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2018. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The law that made Facebook what it is today

The Communications Decency Act was passed in 1996, seven years before the debut of MySpace. It helped online publishing grow – and to escape consequences for the way users might be harmed.
Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Preventing social media from interfering in Canadian elections

Several critical Canadian elections are ahead. Here's what governments and social media companies must do to assure Canadians that their online personal data won't be used to manipulate results.
There are widespread fears that so-called echo chambers and filter bubbles are leading to political polarization that poses a danger to democracy. But are the fears unfounded? (Melvin Sokolsky/1963 via Creative Commons)

The myth of the echo chamber

Despite fears that so-called echo chambers are causing political polarization, a new study suggests it's not the case.
The negative effects of social media have pushed tech companies to take more responsibility for the health of their users. Shutterstock

Why social media are more like chocolate than cigarettes

Critics want social media platforms regulated like Big Tobacco, but our research shows that their impact on your health depends on how you use them.
Social media has become a place of vitriolic myths about Indigenous peoples in the wake of the Gerald Stanley trial for the killing of Colten Boushie. Here, a vigil in support of Colten Boushie’s family on Feb. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Social media full of vitriolic myths in the aftermath of the Stanley trial

Social media posts since Gerald Stanley’s acquittal have been saturated with vitriolic rants and myths. If reconciliation is to be more than an aspiration, settlers must acknowledge our culpability.

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