'Disinformation Online and a Country in Crisis'   [open pdf - 229KB]

From the Overview: "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has tried to frame the issue of reining in mis- and disinformation as not wanting to be 'the arbiter of truth'. This entirely misses the point. The point is not about truth or falsehood, but about algorithmic amplification. The point is that social media decides every day what is relevant by recommending it to their billions of users. The point is that social media has learned that outrageous, divisive, and conspiratorial content increases engagement. The point is that online content providers could simply decide that they value trusted information over untrusted information, respectful over hateful, and unifying over divisive, and in turn fundamentally change the divisiveness-fueling and misinformation-distributing machine that is social media today. By way of highlighting the depth and breadth of these problems, I will describe two recent case studies that reveal a troubling pattern of how the internet, social media, and more generally, information, is being weaponized against society and democracy. I will conclude with a broad overview of interventions to help avert the digital dystopia that we seem to be hurtling towards."

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U.S. House of Representatives Document Repository: https://docs.house.gov/
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Listed on July 15, 2020 [Critical Releases]
Listed on Disinformation [Featured Topic]