How does political misinformation—and outright lies—get amplified on social media and tech platforms? ProPublica editor and reporter Ryan McCarthy and Data & Society Senior Research Analyst Cristina López G. have looked into dynamics of amplification, inconsistent enforcement of community standards, and the democratic pitfalls of hyper-targeting audiences in their reporting and research. In this Databite, they discuss their findings and recommendations for holding companies accountable, protecting voting rights, and stopping the spread of false election claims. Audience Q&A follows the discussion.
Platform Accountability themes from Data & Society’s blog, Points:
- Against Platform Determinism. A Critical Orientation
- Media: End Reporting on Election Polls
- Don’t Stop Believing (in Polling)
- Agnotology and Epistemological Fragmentation
- On Facebook, Misinformation Is More Popular Now Than in 2016, The New York Times
- The Outcome Newsletter, MIT Technology Review
- Why no one knows which stories are the most popular on Facebook, The Verge
- The Reporters Guide to Covering the 2020 Election, PEN America
Cristina López G. a Senior Research Analyst on the Disinformation Action Lab team here at Data & Society.
Ryan McCarthy, ProPublica’s Electionland project editor and reporter, who covers voting, election security and misinformation. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief of VICE News, where he ran its digital newsroom, built its audio team and helped launch VICE News Tonight on HBO. He has also held editing and leadership positions at The New York Times, The Washington Post and Reuters.
“Databites” is a regular speaker series that presents timely conversations about the purpose and power of technology today. Speakers bridge our interdisciplinary research with broader public conversations about the societal implications of data and automation.