‘It’s like you injected adrenaline into them’: Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem faces a new test with Covid-19 (STAT News)

STAT News: ‘It’s like you injected adrenaline into them’: Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem faces a new test with Covid-19. “Since the outset of the pandemic, vaccine-related falsehoods have ballooned on the platform — and recent research suggests some of those inaccurate posts are gaining traction among people who weren’t previously opposed to vaccinations. Part of the problem appears to be the way Facebook’s algorithms capitalize on divisive or extremist content.”

US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation (AP)

AP: US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation. “Russian intelligence services are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November, U.S. officials said Tuesday.”

CNN: A baseless US conspiracy theory found a foothold in Europe. New research shows how

CNN: A baseless US conspiracy theory found a foothold in Europe. New research shows how. “A baseless claim about a child sex-trafficking ring, a Washington, DC pizzeria, and Hillary Clinton has been passed around among conspiracy theorists for more than three years. No evidence has emerged to support any part of the story. But last month, British pop star Robbie Williams used his voice to argue that the claims deserved more attention.”

Phys .org: COVID-19: Social media users more likely to believe false information

Phys .org: COVID-19: Social media users more likely to believe false information. “A new study led by researchers at McGill University finds that people who get their news from social media are more likely to have misperceptions about COVID-19. Those that consume more traditional news media have fewer misperceptions and are more likely to follow public health recommendations like social distancing.”

The Verge: How another video of COVID-19 misinformation went viral on Facebook

The Verge: How another video of COVID-19 misinformation went viral on Facebook. “The video that captured the public imagination this week lacks a name as catchy as ‘Plandemic’ — it was a live stream of a press conference organized by a group known as the Tea Party Patriots, who are funded by wealthy Republicans — but it was seen much more widely, in much less time.”

Content Moderation Case Study: Dealing With Misinformation During A Pandemic (2020) (Techdirt)

Techdirt: Content Moderation Case Study: Dealing With Misinformation During A Pandemic (2020). “In early 2020, with the world trying to figure out how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the big questions faced by internet platforms was how to combat mis- or disinformation regarding the pandemic. This was especially complex, given that everyone — including global health experts were trying to figure out what was accurate themselves, and as more information has come in, the understanding of the disease, how it spread, how to treat it, the level of risk, and much, much, has kept changing. Given the fact that no one fully understood what was going on, plenty of people rushed in to try to fill the void with information. Most social media firms put in place policies to try to limit or take down misinformation or disinformation using a variety of policies and tactics. But determining what is misinformation as opposed to legitimate truth-seeking can be very tricky in the midst of a pandemic.”

Brookings Institution: How misinformation spreads on Twitter

Brookings Institution: How misinformation spreads on Twitter. “We examined millions of Twitter posts for events, such as mass shootings, that result in a large, international online response. A single tweet contains more than 150 data variables including the time the tweet was posted, the tweet text, the Twitter handle, locations, and more.”

AP: Facebook groups pivot to attacks on Black Lives Matter

AP: Facebook groups pivot to attacks on Black Lives Matter. “A loose network of Facebook groups that took root across the country in April to organize protests over coronavirus stay-at-home orders has become a hub of misinformation and conspiracy theories that have pivoted to a variety of new targets. Their latest: Black Lives Matter and the nationwide protests of racial injustice.”

New York Times: Bogus Ideas Have Superspreaders, Too

New York Times: Bogus Ideas Have Superspreaders, Too. “…whether they intend it or not, celebrities, politicians and others with large online followings can be superspreaders — not of the coronavirus but of dangerous or false information. And I wonder whether these prominent people need to be held to stricter rules.”

Following the Source: LSU CS Professor Studies COVID-19 Disparities on Social Media (LSU College of Engineering)

LSU College of Engineering: Following the Source: LSU CS Professor Studies COVID-19 Disparities on Social Media. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, a plethora of information has gone out from various news sources about how the virus is being tracked, how it is spread, how many cases exist, and so forth. The problem is much of this vital information can be inaccurate, leaving people to ignore advice from public officials. For this reason, LSU Computer Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Kisung Lee and LSU Environmental Sciences Professor Nina Lam are evaluating how a population reacts to multiple sources of information, hoping to eliminate disparities in the messaging.”

ScienceBlog: How Conspiracy Theories Emerge – And How Their Storylines Fall Apart

ScienceBlog: How Conspiracy Theories Emerge – And How Their Storylines Fall Apart. “A new study by UCLA professors offers a new way to understand how unfounded conspiracy theories emerge online. The research, which combines sophisticated artificial intelligence and a deep knowledge of how folklore is structured, explains how unrelated facts and false information can connect into a narrative framework that would quickly fall apart if some of those elements are taken out of the mix.”

NiemanLab: The little things — pop-ups, notifications, warnings — work to fight fake news, new evidence shows

NiemanLab: The little things — pop-ups, notifications, warnings — work to fight fake news, new evidence shows. “‘Relatively short, scalable interventions could be effective in fighting misinformation around the world.’ In 2017, Facebook released a set of ‘Tips to spot false news.’ Developed in collaboration with First Draft, the tips were ‘promoted at the top of users’ news feeds in 14 countries in April 2017 and printed in full-page newspaper advertisements in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, and India,’ write the authors of a study published this week in PNAS.”

Penn Today: What do ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Macbeth,’ and a list of Facebook friends all have in common?

Penn Today: What do ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Macbeth,’ and a list of Facebook friends all have in common?. “To an English scholar or avid reader, the Shakespeare Canon represents some of the greatest literary works of the English language. To a network scientist, Shakespeare’s 37 plays and the 884,421 words they contain also represent a massively complex communication network. Network scientists, who employ math, physics, and computer science to study vast and interconnected systems, are tasked with using statistically rigorous approaches to understand how complex networks, like all of Shakespeare, convey information to the human brain.”

UNLV Capstone Project: How Misinformation Spreads Through Twitter

UNLV Capstone Project: How Misinformation Spreads Through Twitter. “As new technologies emerge, a major piece of both content creation and the perpetuation of misinformation are social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As news events emerge, whether be a pandemic, a mass shooting, or an election campaign, it is difficult to divulge the facts from fiction when so many different ‘facts’ appear. This study looks at 14,545,945 tweets generated in the wake of the 1 October mass shooting and its second anniversary to identify how much of the public response is fogged by information pollution, to identify what kind of misinformation is spread and how it spreads on Twitter and news coverage.”

The Washington Post: You are probably spreading misinformation. Here’s how to stop.

The Washington Post: You are probably spreading misinformation. Here’s how to stop.. “First came the pandemic. Now we’re facing an infodemic. Misinformation from so-called trolls, bots and other online agitators is spiking about the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests, following a tsunami of falsehoods about the coronavirus. And the people who care most intensely about those issues may be inadvertently spreading it further — a hard-learned lesson from social media meddling in the 2016 and 2018 elections. To avoid being taken advantage of, we need to learn their ways — and learn some new techniques of our own to challenge what we see on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Reddit and Nextdoor. Whether you’re 16 or 60, spending a few seconds to do the things I list below can help keep you from becoming a tool in someone else’s information war.”