Can fake news help you remember real facts better?

A 2020 study published in the journal of Psychological Science explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.

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  • In 2019, researchers at Stanford Engineering analyzed the spread of fake news as if it were a strain of Ebola. They adapted a model for understanding diseases that can infect a person more than once to better understand how fake news spreads and gains traction.
  • A new study published in 2020 explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.
  • "These findings demonstrate one situation in which misinformation reminders can diminish the negative effects of fake-news exposure in the short term," researchers on the project explained.
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Why social media has changed the world — and how to fix it

MIT Professor Sinan Aral's new book, "The Hype Machine," explores the perils and promise of social media in a time of discord.

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Are you on social media a lot? When is the last time you checked Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? Last night? Before breakfast? Five minutes ago?

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How viral social media memes trigger real-world violence

What responsibility should government authorities and Big Tech take in policing the spread of sedition-oriented content?

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  • It can be hard to believe that comical images online are enough to rile people up enough that they'll actually attack.
  • Originating in the darker corners of the internet, Bugaloo is now prominent on mainstream online platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • The Network Contagion Research Institute's recent series of Contagion and Ideology Reports uses machine learning to examine how memes spread.
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The homogeneity of the news media can now be quantified

New research reveals the extent to which groupthink bias is increasingly being built into the content we consume.

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  • When ownership of news sources is concentrated into the hands of just a handful of corporations, the kind of reporting that audiences get to see is limited and all the more likely to be slanted by corporate interests.
  • Newsroom employment has declined dramatically over the past decade, and this has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The findings of a new University of Illinois study suggest that Washington journalists operate in insular microbubbles that are vulnerable to consensus seeking. If the reporters on the Hill are feeding America copycat news information, we are all at risk of succumbing to groupthink.
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Will social media’s impact on the elections be different this time?

Will nefarious players use social media to sway public opinion again this November?

  • The effective subversion of social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election was unprecedented and highlighted the major role social media plays in politics.
  • Today, it's harder to repurpose private social data than it was four years ago, but paid and organic audience microtargeting continues.
  • Fake news and disinformation still spread freely. Networks of fake accounts are being taken down, but there's no way to know what percentage continue to operate. Meanwhile, the same principles power the news feed algorithms, surfacing partisan content and reaffirming audience biases.
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