“Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action” synthesizes the findings from a conference of the same name organized by Matthew Baum (Harvard), David Lazer (Northeastern), and Nicco Mele (Harvard) in February 2017. This report, written by David Lazer, Matthew Baum, Nir Grinberg, Lisa Friedland, Kenneth Joseph, Will Hobbs, and Carolina Mattsson, draws from the presentations of a wide range of scholars.
The report’s executive summary finds that: “Recent shifts in the media ecosystem raise new concerns about the vulnerability of democratic societies to fake news and the public’s limited ability to contain it. Fake news as a form of misinformation benefits from the fast pace that information travels in today’s media ecosystem, in particular across social media platforms. An abundance of information sources online leads individuals to rely heavily on heuristics and social cues in order to determine the credibility of information and to shape their beliefs, which are in turn extremely difficult to correct or change. The relatively small, but constantly changing, number of sources that produce misinformation on social media offers both a challenge for real-time detection algorithms and a promise for more targeted socio-technical interventions.”
Read the full report here.