Gauri Chandra

  Wednesday, 12th October 2022

  14:00 - 15:00

   Clay Room - Nuffield College +

   System-level Interventions to Reduce the Spread of Misinformation on Social Media

ABSTRACT

Belief in misinformation causes confusion, reduces trust in authorities and encourages risky behaviours that can cause significant harm to health, as exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media platforms have taken several policy measures to address this challenge; working with independent fact-checking companies to label inaccurate content, promoting verified information through prompts of fact-checked articles, or tailoring the algorithm to demote false posts in the newsfeed. But how effective are these measures? I aim to address this issue with a focus on Facebook and its policies to combat health-related misinformation in the context of India. My study has three key goals. First, I will evaluate the effectiveness of specific policies currently used by Facebook to debunk misinformation using an online experiment. Second, I aim to examine policy design tweaks informed by behavioural science to improve the effectiveness of these existing policies. Finally, I will examine how core aspects of users’ identities interact with the content of inaccurate posts to impact the efficacy of the policies, accounting for potential demand-side factors that contribute to the spread of misinformation.