Newswise: Study explores how gossip spreads in social networks. “Researchers studying the spread of infectious diseases and transmission of information have developed a model that elucidates the reasons why some news propagates through social networks before there is time to corroborate the facts. Their results, which may also help marketing companies target specific social groups, appear online at arXiv.org.”
University of Washington: Allen School and AI2 researchers unveil Grover, a new tool for fighting fake news in the age of AI. “To fight the emerging threat of fake news authored by AI, a team of researchers at the Allen School and Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) developed Grover, a new model for detecting neural fake news more reliably than existing technologies can.”
Ars Technica: Researchers discover “Fishwrap” influence campaign recycling old terror news. “Researchers at Recorded Future have uncovered what appears to be a new, growing social media-based influence operation involving more than 215 social media accounts. While relatively small in comparison to influence and disinformation operations run by the Russia-affiliated Internet Research Agency (IRA), the campaign is notable because of its systematic method of recycling images and reports from past terrorist attacks and other events and presenting them as breaking news—an approach that prompted researchers to call the campaign ‘Fishwrap.'”
Ubergizmo: WhatsApp Warns Of Legal Action Against Abusers Of Its Platform. “Facebook-owned WhatsApp is the most popular cross-platform messaging service in the world. Operating at that scale presents its own set of challenges. The company has had to take several steps to ensure that its platform isn’t abused and not used for the spread of misinformation. WhatsApp is now threatening legal action against even those who merely claim that they have the ability to abuse its platform as many companies have emerged who claim to be able to do just that.”
Poynter: Number of fact-checking outlets surges to 188 in more than 60 countries. “The number of fact-checking outlets around the world has grown to 188 in more than 60 countries amid global concerns about the spread of misinformation, according to the latest tally by the Duke Reporters’ Lab.”
Twitter Blog: Information operations on Twitter: principles, process, and disclosure. “In October 2018, we published the first comprehensive archive of Tweets and media associated with known state-backed information operations on Twitter. Since its launch, thousands of researchers from across the globe have downloaded datasets, which contain more than 30 million Tweets and over 1 terabyte of media, using our archive to conduct their own investigations and to share their insights and independent analysis with the world. Today, we’re adding six additional datasets to our archive, covering coordinated, state-backed activities originating from four jurisdictions. All accounts have been removed from Twitter.”
Journalist’s Resource: How to combat health misinformation online: A research roundup. “Is it possible to stem the tide of misinformation online? If it is, what are the most effective ways to do so? We turned to a source of high-quality information – peer-reviewed academic research – to look for answers. Below we’ve summarized seven recent academic studies on the efficacy of interventions used to correct health misinformation. It’s worth noting that the first three studies included in this roundup focus on a small group of students from one university. Additionally, all of these studies are behavioral experiments, which tend to have relatively small sample sizes, and are intended to complement other forms of research.” What an interesting roundup!