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Research Note

Research note: Does the public support fact-checking social media? It depends who and how you ask

Timothy S. Rich, Ian Milden and Mallory Treece Wagner

We analyze original survey data on support for social media companies’ fact-checking of politicians in general and President Trump in particular. We find overwhelming majorities of Democrats support fact-checking in both instances, while a majority of Republicans support fact-checking of politicians in general but not of President Trump.

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Elections

State media warning labels can counteract the effects of foreign misinformation

Jack Nassetta and Kimberly Gross

Platforms are increasingly using transparency, whether it be in the form of political advertising disclosures or a record of page name changes, to combat disinformation campaigns. In the case of state-controlled media outlets on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter this has taken the form of labeling their connection to a state.

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Research Note

Research note: The scale of Facebook’s problem depends upon how ‘fake news’ is classified

Richard Rogers

Ushering in the contemporary ‘fake news’ crisis, Craig Silverman of Buzzfeed News reported that it outperformed mainstream news on Facebook in the three months prior to the 2016 US presidential elections. Here the report’s methods and findings are revisited for 2020.

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Overcoming resistance to COVID-19 vaccine adoption: How affective dispositions shape views of science and medicine

John E. Newhagen and Erik P. Bucy

Health experts worry that a COVID-19 vaccine boycott could inhibit reaching “herd immunity,” and their concerns have only grown as the pandemic has spread. Concern has largely focused on anti-vaccine protestors, who captured headlines as they stood side by side with Tea Party activists and armed militia groups demonstrating against the quarantine in April and May of this year.

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COVID-19

The Twitter origins and evolution of the COVID-19 “plandemic” conspiracy theory

Matthew D. Kearney, Shawn C. Chiang and Philip M. Massey

Tweets about “plandemic” (e.g., #plandemic) – the notion that the COVID-19 pandemic was planned or fraudulent – helped to spread several distinct conspiracy theories related to COVID-19. But the term’s catchy nature attracted attention from anti-vaccine activist filmmakers who ultimately created Plandemic the 26-minute documentary.

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COVID-19

The weaponization of web archives: Data craft and COVID-19 publics

Amelia Acker and Mitch Chaiet

An unprecedented volume of harmful health misinformation linked to the coronavirus pandemic has led to the appearance of misinformation tactics that leverage web archives in order to evade content moderation on social media platforms. Here we present newly identified manipulation techniques designed to maximize the value, longevity, and spread of harmful and non-factual content across social media using provenance information from web archives and social media analytics.

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