Understanding And Reducing The Spread Of Misinformation Online

WGBHForum

Feb 14, 2020

David Rand gives an overview of his work assessing various interventions against misinformation and “fake news” on social media. He starts by discussing the limitations of two of the most commonly discussed approaches: warnings based on professional fact-checking, which are not scalable and can increase belief in misinformation which is not flagged; and emphasizing publishers, which is ineffective because untrusted outlets typically produce headlines that are judged as inaccurate even without knowing the source. He offers two promising approaches: nudging social media users to think about accuracy, which he shows increases the quality of news shared in a field experiment with over 5000 Twitter users who previously tweeted Breitbart links, and using crowdsourcing to identify misinformation, as he shows that crowds of laypeople produce judgments that are highly aligned with professional fact-checkers

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