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David Rand: Getting the Facts Straight on Online Misinformation

October 18, 2022

MIT IDE lead and Sloan Professor David Rand just authored an opinion piece on on the vexing problem of how social media companies can “thread the needle of engaging in meaningful moderation while escaping accusations of partisan bias and censorship.”

Rand writes that: “The growth in misleading rhetoric from U.S. congressional candidates on topics such as election integrity has put renewed pressure on social media platforms ahead of November’s vote. And the perception that tech companies are doing little to fight misinformation raises questions about their democratic obligations and poses commercial risks. But, perhaps surprisingly, recent initiatives suggest that platforms may be able to channel partisan motivations to democratize moderation.”

One potential solution that platforms have begun to test is crowdsourced fact-checking, he said. Instead of relying solely on professional fact-checkers and artificial intelligence algorithms, they are turning to their users to help pick up the slack–but only when used correctly.

Read the full op ed here.

Read the research papers here and here

Access all of Rand’s misinformation/fake news papers: [Dynamic list with PDF and Twitter links]


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