Notre Dame Researchers, Elkhart Public Library Look At Misinformation On Social Media

Feb 5, 2019

 

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Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have teamed up with the Elkhart Public Library for a series of forums on how misinformation spreads on social Media.

Psychology, technology and laziness. That’s what Notre Dame’s Tim Weninger said we’re up against when it comes to misinformation online.

“We all are curators and editors of our friends’ newfeeds and that’s a responsibility that many of us don’t quite understand. And so that’s what we like to go out and tell people that the way you vote and like and share and retweet is important and that there’s a bit of a responsibility involved in that.”

Pamela Bilo Thomas, a PhD candidate at Notre Dame says the research also looks at the problem in other countries.

“It’s really impacting a lot of different countries around the world.”

Weninger and Bilo Thomas’ research shows that on Facebook and Reddit three quarters of all likes and shares happen without the user reading the article.

They said one of the best ways to stop the spread of misinformation is to read before you share.

The discussions are every Wednesday evening in February starting the 6th at 6:30 at the downtown location. The first week focuses on reporting and journalism, the second on algorithms and the spread of misinformation online and the third is about local government and law enforcement.