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Manipulation and deception have always been a part of politics. But misinformation and disinformation are flourishing in the digital age, with new technologies like artificial intelligence making fake content easier to create and disseminate. As concerns about digital disinformation and rising U.S. political polarization grow, IGCC’s initiative on mis/disinformation convenes experts from academia, government and industry, and conducts research to better understand the global landscape and develop lessons for U.S. policymakers.

Recent Events

On April 7, 2021, IGCC together with the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project hosted a symposium on mis/disinformation. The symposium brought together academics and experts working in industry to talk about the political economy of misinformation.

View their presentations below.

Laura Courchesne (Oxford) discussed how disinformation generates profits [PDF], through advertising, sponsored content, donations and crowdfunding, and merchandise sales, each method of which can be amplified through information operations.

Damon McCoy (NYU) discussed the incentives of online actors [PDF], and their strategies for promoting and limiting political disinformation.

Jonathan Ong (UMass Amherst) described online misinformation in elections in the Philippines [PDF], where Facebook users average six hours per day online.

Kaiping Chen (U. of Wisconsin) discussed how nationalism facilitates misinformation health and science [PDF], including COVID-19 conspiracies.

Danny Rogers (Global Disinformation Index) reported on how disinformation generates profits [PDF], especially emotionally charged content that holds attention and is shared, which is rewarded by attention-maximizing algorithms.

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