Understanding and reducing the spread of misinformation online

Speaker: Mohsen Mosleh , University of Exeter

Date: Thursday, April 14, 2022

Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes

Location: Seminar Room D507

Event Type: Seminar

Room Description:

Host: Dr. Una-May O'Reilly, ALFA Group, CSAIL

Contact: Aruna Sankaranarayanan, arunas@csail.mit.edu

Relevant URL: https://disinformation.csail.mit.edu/

Speaker URL: http://www.mohsenmosleh.com/

Speaker Photo:
Img 9345

Reminders to: seminars@csail.mit.edu

Reminder Subject: TALK: Understanding and reducing the spread of misinformation online

There has been a great deal of concern about the negative impacts of online misinformation on democracy and society. In this talk, I provide an overview of my research on understanding why people share misinformation and how to combat spread of low-quality content online. I first focus on the why question and describe a hybrid lab-field study in which Twitter users (N=1,901) complete a cognitive survey. I show that people who rely on intuitive gut responses over analytical thinking share lower quality content. I then build on this observation with a Twitter field experiment (N= 5,379) that uses a subtle intervention to nudge people to think about accuracy. I show the intervention significantly improve the quality of the news sources they shared subsequently. Finally, I will talk about a follow-up study where we directly correct Twitter users (N=2000) who shared misinformation by replying to their false tweets by including a link to the fact-checking website. We show that unlike the subtle accuracy nudge, the direct public correction results in users sharing lower quality content. Our experimental design translates directly into an intervention that social media companies could deploy to fight misinformation online.

Research Areas:
AI & Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction

Impact Areas:
Big Data, Cybersecurity

See other events that are part of the Disinformation Seminar Series 2022.

Created by Aruna Sankaranarayanan Email at Monday, April 11, 2022 at 10:45 PM.