The Spreading of Misinformation Online

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
A scientific paper of the above title published yesterday in PNAS Early Edition may be of interest to Metabunk members:
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/01/02/1517441113.full.pdf
This article contains supporting information online:
Supporting Information Appendix: Echo chambers in the age of misinformation
 
Last edited by a moderator:

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Very interesting. Not sure exactly what this means however. There is a similar dissemination pattern for science and conspiracy but a dissimilar acceptance or belief pattern for science versus conspiracy?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Very interesting. Not sure exactly what this means however. There is a similar dissemination pattern for science and conspiracy but a dissimilar acceptance or belief pattern for science versus conspiracy?

If I'm reading the article correctly, science quickly reaches a broader audience (greater diffusion) but interest and cascade lifetime are poorly correlated. Conspiracy diffuses more slowly, but interest continues to increase with time.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
If I'm reading the article correctly, science quickly reaches a broader audience (greater diffusion) but interest and cascade lifetime are poorly correlated. Conspiracy diffuses more slowly, but interest continues to increase with time.
Quite interesting. Thanks!
 
Came across an interesting Washington Post article about [this study] conducted to determine how misinformation spreads across the internet.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...s-climate-doubt-spreads-through-social-media/

*Edit
Thanks for merging this Mick. I should have searched to see if there was already a thread.
 
Last edited:

nivek

New Member
YouTube is a big problem, there's these fringe groups that post ufo hoaxes for instance or false claims over the Apollo moon landings or 911 and [some people] gobble it up and spread those false videos and ideals all over social media sites like facebook...

I had a lengthy debate last year with an otherwise intelligent woman about the moon landings, she saw a couple videos on YouTube and became convinced the moon landings were faked...In the end after listening to and reading all the evidence I presented her, she resolved to accept the ridiculous youtube videos saying seeing was believing and we never went to the moon...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
...In the end after listening to and reading all the evidence I presented her, she resolved to accept the ridiculous youtube videos saying seeing was believing and we never went to the moon...

In the center of my avatar image, the little white speck casting a shadow is the bottom half of the Apollo 11 lunar module, photographed from lunar orbit in 2009. Of course, "seeing is believing" generally applies only to things that the seer already believes, so this won't convince anyone.

Back to the original topic, I've been heavily involved in a few online forums for many years, and the "echo chamber" effect is very real. Even if a community starts out with a range of opinions, it frequently happens that a small group of true believers will eventually annoy the heck out of everyone else, and drive them off. Forum moderators can encourage or discourage this, but never have complete control.

I don't think Facebook has improved the situation any -- it just makes it even easier to shut out ideas and people that you disagree with.

I find this discouraging. On the one hand, the Internet has become an amazing way for people to find friends and to learn things, with no artificial limitations imposed by physical distance. And on the other hand, so many of us use it solely to find clones of ourselves and echoes of what we already think.
 

Auldy

Senior Member.

This video from (the incredibly great) CPG Grey channel is a good dissection of how and why ideas such as CTs and misinformation spread across social media.
 

Hartski

New Member
Saw this article the other day (ironically shared on my fb) which gives some excellent examples behind the algorithms that fb and other soc media uses to populate feeds.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3059742/...rting-reality-by-boosting-conspiracy-theories
 

Graham2001

Active Member
The last few posts on the 'channeling' effect of social media and on increasing ability of people to filter out things they don't agree with bought to my mind a New York Times article that discussed the rise of "Safe Spaces" at universities and implies that people are spreading this kind of reality filtering offline.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/opinion/sunday/judith-shulevitz-hiding-from-scary-ideas.html?_r=0
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Google is becoming less useful these days to find factual information.
It's much easier to find "less-factual" information on Google.
The relative ease these days, of creating a blog, site, forum....filled with opinions or promotion....puts keywords into Google that (if trending enough) are nearing the top of search results.

(side note)
I do not hazard-to-guess, that most people are not savvy enough, or simply not experienced enough.....to do thorough and specific Google Searches. It's a clever art.
From my experience, most people don't have any idea what "search operators" are.
 

Hartski

New Member
That's how I ended up here. I was challenged to"Google Nexrad"

He obviously just stopped at the first 6 YouTube videos that came up.
 

Marin B

Active Member
Here's an article from HuffPost on how Youtube uses algorithms that suck people down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole. It describes "5 of the wildest conspiracy theories YouTube promoted in 2018". I have a family member that will mention "watching the news", and I know that it means watching these types of videos for hours a day. :(

5 Of The Wildest Conspiracy Theories YouTube Promoted In 2018 Once you fall down YouTube’s conspiracy theory rabbit hole, its algorithm will continue feeding you disinformation.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The first part of the following study examines in detail how Russian media outlets played a part in introducing and spreading misinformation about the Skripal incident online. I found it interesting that these conspiracy theory mechanisms we all know can apparently be employed as part of a goverment media and foreign policy strategy.

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/policy-institute/assets/weaponising-news.pdf
From the executive summary (p.6 f.):
Pages 23 to 45 have the details on this topic. Other sections of the study present the phenomenon of "churnalism", the methodology used in the study, and results on UK media echoing these Russian narratives, and how pushing "government dysfunction" is part of their strategy. I'm reading that as promoting government distrust, which plays a huge role in many conspiracy theories.
 
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
derwoodii Retweet Networks Spreading Coronavirus Disinformation Coronavirus COVID-19 2
MikeG GMO Mosquitoes Spreading Zika Virus Conspiracy Theories 12
S Persistent Spreading Contrail Contrails and Chemtrails 4
Mick West Giant Spreading Contrail Over Sacramento Contrails and Chemtrails 1
Mick West YouTube's Changes Reduce Watch Time of Borderline Content and Harmful Misinformation by 70% Practical Debunking 38
Mick West No, SB 1424 is Not a Censorship Bill Criminalizing Anti-Vaccine Misinformation Conspiracy Theories 9
Mick West Debunking: A Meta-Analysis of the Psychological Efficacy of Messages Countering Misinformation Practical Debunking 5
Critical Thinker Fareed Zakaria: An angry victim of the Internet misinformation websites, speaks out Practical Debunking 11
Critical Thinker Natural News: Some of the misinformation found there People Debunked 5
Mick West Guardian Riot rumours: how misinformation spread on Twitter during a time of crisis Practical Debunking 0
Arugula 25,000 email addresses and passwords reportedly dumped online from NIH, WHO, Gates Foundation, and Wuhan Institute of Virology Coronavirus COVID-19 2
Rory Where online is debunking most effective? Practical Debunking 14
JFDee New 2017 Cloud Atlas of the WMO Online Images and Videos: Contrails, Skies, and Aviation 0
Mick West Vice: 'It Was Like a Cult': Leaving the World of Online Conspiracy Theories Escaping The Rabbit Hole 4
Leifer Online Marketing /Branding Scams (Vanity Awards) General Discussion 5
MikeC What are the "robots" that are in the "online now" count? Site Feedback & News 1
MikeC 1440 online?? Site Feedback & News 3

Related Articles

Top