Redesign the Information Ecosystem in the 21st Century

study finds: fake news & false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into social networks and spread much faster than accurate stories

Photo of Paul Kim
0 3

Written by

This article ends with the following comment and speaks to the importance of this collaboration with ISTE and the engagement of educators around this topic -- "In short, social media seems to systematically amplify falsehood at the expense of the truth, and no one—neither experts nor politicians nor tech companies—knows how to reverse that trend. It is a dangerous moment for any system of government premised on a common public reality."

Also from the article: “It seems to be pretty clear [from our study] that false information outperforms true information,” said Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at MIT who has studied fake news since 2013 and who led this study. “And that is not just because of bots. It might have something to do with human nature.”

The study has already prompted alarm from social scientists. “We must redesign our information ecosystem in the 21st century,” write a group of 16 political scientists and legal scholars in an essay also published Thursday in Science. They call for a new drive of interdisciplinary research “to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.”


Join the conversation: