Wednesday, December 16, 2020

g-f(2)38 False rumors spread faster and wider than true information




Extra-condensed knowledge


MIT Sloan research about social media, misinformation, and elections
  • Over the last several years, MIT Sloan researchers have studied the spread of false information, or so-called fake news, described by researchers as “entirely fabricated and often partisan content presented as factual.” 
  • Understanding more about why people share misinformation, and how it spreads, leads to proposed solutions — a goal that becomes more important as people spend more time on social media platforms, and the connections between misinformation and election results become clearer.


Genioux knowledge fact condensed as an image.


The “genioux facts” Knowledge Big Picture (g-f KBP) chart


Condensed knowledge 


  • MIT Sloan research about social media, misinformation, and elections
    • Over the last several years, MIT Sloan researchers have studied the spread of false information, or so-called fake news, described by researchers as “entirely fabricated and often partisan content presented as factual.” 
    • Understanding more about why people share misinformation, and how it spreads, leads to proposed solutions — a goal that becomes more important as people spend more time on social media platforms, and the connections between misinformation and election results become clearer.
  • Problems
    • False rumors spread faster and wider than true information, according to a 2019 study published in Science by MIT Sloan professor Sinan Aral and Deb Roy and Soroush Vosoughi of the MIT Media Lab. 
    • They found falsehoods are 70% more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than the truth, and reach their first 1,500 people six times faster. This effect is more pronounced with political news than other categories. 
    • People are the ones hitting retweet on false information. 
    • People who share false information are more likely distracted or lazy, rather than biased, according to MIT Sloan professor David Rand and his co-author Gordon Pennycook. 
      • Their 2018 study asking people to rate the accuracy of news headlines on Facebook found that people who engage in more analytical thinking are more likely to discern true from false, regardless of their political views. 
    • Attaching warnings to social media posts that feature information disputed by fact-checkers can backfire. 
      • A study by Rand and his co-authors outlined a potential downfall to labeling misinformation online: the “implied truth effect,” where people assume all information without a label is true. Attaching verifications to some true headlines could be a possible fix.
    • Social media can also skew opinions because of what people don’t see.  
      • Another study by Rand and several co-authors looked at "information gerrymandering," or how people tend to live in partisan bubbles where they receive just a partial picture of how others feel about political issues. This can distort what people think about how others plan to vote — and even influence the outcome of elections.
  • Solutions
    • Aral and MIT Sloan professor Dean Eckles outlined a four-step plan for researchers to measure and analyze social media manipulation and turn that information into a defense against future interference. 
      • In brief: catalog exposure to social media manipulation; combine exposure and voter behavior datasets; assess the effectiveness of manipulative messages; and calculate consequences of voting behavior changes. 
      • In his new book “The Hype Machine,” Aral goes more in-depth, exploring the promise and peril of social media and how to protect society and democracy from its threats.
    • When asked directly, most people say it is important to share information that is accurate, according to a study co-authored by Rand. 
    • Yet people tend to share false information online because the social media context focuses their attention on factors other than truth and accuracy — not because they don’t care about the truth of what they are sharing. 
    • Advertising spreads fake news through methods like Facebook’s marketing tools, which allow advertisers to pay to target certain groups of people. 
      • A study co-authored by MIT Sloan marketing professor Catherine Tucker found a 75% reduction in fake news being shared after Facebook rolled out a new advertising system designed to intercept articles with fake news stories.


Category 1, 2, 3 and 4: 

1. A new, better world for everyone

2. The Big Picture of the Digital Era

3. The Big Picture of Sports

4. Coronavirus and other viruses

[genioux fact extracted from MIT Sloan School of Management]


Type of validity of the "genioux fact". 

  • Inherited from sources + Supported by the knowledge of one or more experts + Based on a research. 


Authors of the genioux fact

Fernando Machuca


References





ABOUT THE AUTHORS



Sara writes about management issues affecting global business leaders, with an emphasis on management science. Areas of interest include artificial intelligence, the digital economy, marketing, operations management, platforms, system dynamics, and supply chain. 

Prior to MIT Sloan, Sara was a reporter and editor at the Vineyard Gazette on Martha's Vineyard. She has written for The Boston Globe and Martha's Vineyard Magazine, among other publications. She is a master's degree in journalism from Boston University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.

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