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Measure Your Online Misinformation Exposure

January 20, 2023

Most of us are aware that misinformation and fake news abound online and offline. Usually, however, we think of it as a problem for a small portion of the population. Aren’t we too sophisticated and well-informed not to recognize truth from fiction; political rhetoric from facts? Perhaps, not.

David Rand, MIT IDE research group lead and Professor of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, along with his colleagues, developed a tool to help us determine just how vulnerable and how partisan we are.

As part of a recent research paper, Measuring Exposure to Misinformation from Political Elites on Twitter, the authors created an app for scoring exposure to misinformation.

The tool is built on an open-source R library and an Application Programming Interface (API). It makes available to all Twitter users the same elite misinformation-exposure estimation tool used in the research.

Want to try it?

Here is a description from the authors:

Misinformation exposure scores measure how much the politicians and public organizations you follow tend to lie (based on fact-checking their claims by PolitiFact). These scores go from 0 (none of the fact-checked claims by politicians and public figures you follow are false) to 1 (all of the fact-checked claims by politicians and public organizations you follow are false).

Partisanship scores measure how much you tend to follow politicians from the left versus right side of the political spectrum. These scores go from -1 (follow only left-leaning accounts) to 1 (follow only right-leaning accounts).

You can also use our API to get the scores. Source code for this app is available here.