How to stop disinformation on social media


Professor at Syracuse University Jennifer Stromer-Galley studied social media before calling himself social media. Five years ago, she came up with a simple three-point plan to help stem the tide of disinformation on Facebook. Today, these three recommendations remain relevant after a former Facebook employee revealed internal documents indicating the company was lying about its progress against hate, violence and disinformation on its platform.

The Stromer-Galley plan, described in the play Three Ways Facebook Could Reduce Fake News Without Resorting to Censorship and published by The Conversation, had these three recommendations to combat disinformation.

Option 1: Nudge

“One option Facebook could adopt is to use existing lists that identify safe and shortlisted lists. fake news sites. The site could then alert those who wish to share a troublesome article that its source is questionable.

Option 2: crowdsourcing

“Facebook could also use the power of crowdsourcing to help assess news sources and indicate when shared news has been rated and rated. A significant challenge with fake news is that it plays on the way our brains are wired. We have mental shortcuts, called cognitive biases, which help us make decisions when we don’t have enough information (we never have it) or enough time (we never have it). In general, these shortcuts work well for us as we make decisions on everything from which route to drive to work to which car to buy. But, sometimes they fail us. Falling into the fake news trap is one of those cases.

Option 3: Algorithmic social distance

“The third way Facebook could help would be to reduce the algorithmic bias that currently exists in Facebook. The site mainly displays posts from those you engaged with on Facebook. In other words, Facebook’s algorithm creates what some have called a filter bubble, an online information phenomenon that has scientists concerned for decades now. If you are only exposed to people with similar ideas to your own, it leads to political polarization: The liberals are getting even more extreme in their liberalism, and the conservatives are getting more conservative.

To schedule an interview with Professor Stromer-Galley, please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, Director of Media Relations at Syracuse University, at [email protected] or 412-496-0551.

Stromer-Galley is the author of “Presidential campaign in the internet age»And chief investigator for Illuminating 2020, a website dedicated to helping journalists cover American political campaigns. The website provides an interactive database for quick and easy tracking of what candidates are saying on Facebook and Twitter through campaign accounts and paid ads. She is also Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs, and Director of the Center for Computational and Data Science at Syracuse University iSchool.


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