Misinformation Speaker Series 2021-22

Co-sponsored by:

Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

Home | Network Science Institute at Northeastern University

David Rothschild

Microsoft's version of 'Nate Silver' dishes out data-backed predictions for  2014 - GeekWire

Microsoft Research

Economist

Complete bio and more information here.

Monday, October 18, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual – Registration Required

TALK TITLE: Mainstream Media is the Problem

ABSTRACT: There is a lot of concern about how the news ecosystem affects public opinion, political polarization, and democracy. Most of the research and public debate focuses on overtly fake material, particularly as it is distributed through social media. But, the vast majority of news consumption is actual produced by mainstream media, and the most common mode of consumption is television. Meanwhile, many key demographic groups consume almost no news at all. Concerns about lack of information or misinformation should focus on where people actual consume (or don’t consume) news, and the product they are actually consuming: mainstream media.

BIO: David Rothschild is an economist at Microsoft Research. He has written extensively, in both the academic and popular press. His work pushes the boundaries on varying data and methods: polling, prediction markets, social media and online data, and large behavioral and administrative data. His work focuses on solving practical and interesting questions including: mapping and updating public opinion, the market for news, effect of advertising, finance, and an economist take on public policy.

Part of the speaker series on misinformation, co-sponsored by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

Registration for this event is required, details on how to join the webinar will be sent to registered participants before the event. Register here. 

Emily Thorson

Thorson discusses belief echoes on WCNY's Capitol Pressroom | Maxwell School

Syracuse University

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Complete bio and more information here.

Monday, November 22, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual – Registration Required

TALK TITLE: Factual Corrections and Misinformation During the 2020 U.S. Election: Evidence from Panel Experiments

ABSTRACT: We measure the immediate and medium-term effects of 21 highly-trafficked pieces of misinformation and fact-checks during the 2020 U.S. election with eight panel experiments (N = 17,681). Exposure to misinformation increased false beliefs by an average of 4.3 points on a 100-point belief certainty scale. Exposure to fact-checks more than corrected this effect, decreasing false beliefs by 10.5 points. The effects of fact-checks persisted at 66% of the immediate effect one week after exposure, and at 50% after more than two weeks. We estimate minuscule effects of misinformation and fact-checks on evaluations of political figures and groups. Fact-checks of party-congenial false claims were more effective among Democrats than Republicans. We examine this asymmetry with data provided to us by the fact-checking organization PolitiFact. We document robust heterogeneities by personality type and cognitive style, which further investigation suggests may be related to time spent reading fact-checks.

BIO: Emily Thorson is an assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University whose research focuses on misperceptions about politics and policy. She is the co-editor of the Misinformation and Mass Audiences (2018) as well as a special issue of the Journal of Communication on misinformation. Her book, The Invented State: Policy Misperceptions in the American Public, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Part of the speaker series on misinformation, co-sponsored by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

Registration for this event is required, details on how to join the webinar will be sent to registered participants before the event. Register here.

Chris Bail

Chris Bail (@chris_bail) | Twitter

Duke University

Professor of Sociology

Complete bio and more information here.

Monday, November 29, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual – Registration Required

TALK TITLE: TBD

ABSTRACT: TBD

BIO: TBD

Part of the speaker series on misinformation, co-sponsored by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

Registration for this event is required, details on how to join the webinar will be sent to registered participants before the event. Register here.

Joan Donovan

Joan Donovan | The Carr Center for Human Rights - Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Research Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, and Director of the Technology and Social Change Project

Complete bio and more information here.

Monday, December 6, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual – Registration Required

TALK TITLE: TBD

ABSTRACT: TBD

BIO: TBD

Part of the speaker series on misinformation, co-sponsored by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

Registration for this event is required, details on how to join the webinar will be sent to registered participants before the event. Register here.

Filippo Menczer

Indiana University 

Luddy Distinguished Professor of Informatics and Computer Science and the Director of the Observatory on Social Media 

Complete bio and more information here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

TALK TITLE: Hacking Online Virality

ABSTRACT: As social media become major channels for the diffusion of news and information, it becomes critical to understand how the complex interplay between cognitive, social, and algorithmic biases triggered by our reliance on online social networks makes us vulnerable to manipulation and disinformation. This talk, given by Dr. Filippo Menczer, overviews ongoing network analytics, modeling, and machine learning efforts to study the viral spread of misinformation and to develop tools for countering the online manipulation of opinions.

Part of the speaker series on misinformation, co-sponsored by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

Click here for the event recording.

Irene Pasquetto

University of Michigan 

Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Virtual – Registration Required

TALK TITLE: “Disinformation as Infrastructure:” Making and maintaining the QAnon conspiracy on Italian digital media

ABSTRACT: We examine how – over a period of eleven months – Italian QAnon supporters designed and maintained a distributed, multi-layered “infrastructure of disinformation” that spans multiple social media platforms, messaging apps, online forums, alternative media channels, as well as websites, databases, and content aggregators. Examining disinformation from an infrastructural lens reveals how QAnon disinformation operations extend well-beyond the use of social media and the construction of false narratives. While QAnon conspiracy theories continue to evolve and adapt, the overarching (dis)information infrastructure through which “epistemic evidence” is constructed and constantly updated is rather stable and has increased in size and complexity over time. We also characterize how such infrastructure differs from information infrastructures designed and adopted in the context of scientific and bureaucratic work. Finally, we show that deplatforming is a time-sensitive effort. The longer platforms wait to intervene, the harder it is to eradicate (dis)information infrastructures as they develop new layers, get distributed across the Internet, and can rely on a critical mass of loyal followers.

BIO: Irene Pasquetto is a scholar in the field of information and communication science. She holds a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information where she teaches “Ethics of Information Technologies” and “Digital Curation.” Her most recent research work focuses on issues of science mis- and disinformation, open science practices, and public understanding and use/misuse of science products and infrastructures. From 2018 to 2020, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, at the Harvard Kennedy School. At the Kennedy School, Irene co-founded and chief-edited the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review. Irene earned a Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she also worked as a research assistant at the UCLA Center for Knowledge Infrastructures (CKI) and the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics. Previously, Irene earned a master’s and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Verona (Italy).

Part of the speaker series on misinformation, co-sponsored by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

Registration for this event is required, details on how to join the webinar will be sent to registered participants before the event. Register here.