CSUDH: Faculty Researchers Provide In-Depth Analysis of Fake News

CSUDH: Faculty Researchers Provide In-Depth Analysis of Fake News. “Researches at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) have released the results of a study that provides an in-depth understanding of who produces and spreads ‘fake news,’ and who is duped by it. The findings are part of a larger study on the psychological constructs associated with fake news consumers and producers.”

Report: ‘Superspreaders’ of bogus health news racked up billions of views on Facebook (Politico)

Politico: Report: ‘Superspreaders’ of bogus health news racked up billions of views on Facebook. “Groups and pages that spread misleading health news attracted an estimated 3.8 billion views on Facebook in the past year, an activist group said in a report Wednesday — adding that those networks pushing bogus claims drew far more traffic than authoritative sources on topics like Covid-19. The report, published by the nonprofit activist group Avaaz, drew immediate scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers about the tech giant’s efforts to combat phony coronavirus news.”

New York Times: Why Protest Tactics Spread Like Memes

New York Times: Why Protest Tactics Spread Like Memes. “A video frame captured in Hong Kong in August 2019 shows a group of pro-democracy protesters, smoke pluming toward them, racing to place an orange traffic cone over a tear-gas canister. A video taken nine months later and 7,000 miles away, at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis, shows another small group using the same maneuver. Two moments, two continents, two cone placers, their postures nearly identical.”

Associated Press: Misinformation on coronavirus is proving highly contagious

Associated Press: Misinformation on coronavirus is proving highly contagious. “Experts worry the torrent of bad information is dangerously undermining efforts to slow the virus, whose death toll in the U.S. hit 150,000 Wednesday, by far the highest in the world, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Over a half-million people have died in the rest of the world.”

Phys .org: Study suggests optimal social networks of no more than 150 people

Phys .org: Study suggests optimal social networks of no more than 150 people. “New rules of engagement on the battlefield will require a deep understanding of networks and how they operate according to new Army research. Researchers confirmed a theory that find that networks of no more than 150 are optimal for efficient information exchange.”

‘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.”