TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

MIT Sloan Study: Crowdsourcing Effective to Fight Fake News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (FNN NEWS) – Source: MIT Sloan School of Management // Fake news isn’t a new problem, but it’s becoming a greater concern because of social media, where it is easily created and rapidly distributed. A recent study by MIT Sloan School of Management Prof. David Rand and Prof. Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina finds there is a possible solution: crowdsourcing. As their research shows that laypeople trust reputable news outlets more than outlets that create misinformation, social media platforms could use trust ratings to inform how they promote content.

“There has been a lot of research examining fake news and how it spreads, but this study is among the first to suggest a potential long-term solution, which is cause for measured optimism. If we can decrease the amount of misinformation spreading on social media, we can increase agreement on basic facts across political parties, which will hopefully lead to less political polarization and a greater ability to compromise on how to run the country,” says Rand. “It may also make it harder for individuals to win elections based on false claims.”

He notes that current solutions for fighting misinformation deployed by social media companies haven’t been that effective. For example, partnering with fact-checkers isn’t scalable because they can’t keep up with the rapid creation of false stories. Further, putting warnings on content found to be false can be counterproductive, because it makes misleading stories that didn’t get checked seem more accurate – the “implied truth” effect.

“Our study is good news because we find a scalable solution to this problem, based on the surprisingly good judgment of everyday Americans. Things may not be as hopeless as most coverage of fake news makes you think,” says Rand.

In their study, Rand and Pennycook examined whether crowdsourcing could work as an effective tool in fighting the spread of misinformation. They asked laypeople to rate familiarity with and trust in news sources across three categories: mainstream media outlets, hyper-partisan websites, and websites that produce blatantly false content (“fake news”). The pool of people surveyed was nationally representative across age, gender, ethnicity, and political affiliations. They also asked professional fact-checkers the same questions to compare responses.

They found that laypeople trust reputable news outlets more than those that create misinformation and that the trust ratings of the laypeople surveyed closely matched the trust ratings of professional fact-checkers. “Our results show that laypeople are much better than many would have expected at knowing which outlets to trust,” says Rand. “Although there were clear partisan differences, with Republicans distrusting all mainstream outlets (except for Fox News) relative to Democrats, there was a remarkable consensus regarding non-mainstream outlets being untrustworthy.”

For example, the average Republican participant trusted mainstream outlets that are seen as left-leaning, such as CNN or MSNBC, more than right-leaning hyper-partisan sites such as Breitbart, he says. “Findings like these reveal that attitudes towards media sources are not as dominated by partisanship as one might have thought.”

These results suggest that a scalable approach to fighting misinformation is for social media platforms to survey their users about how much they trust various outlets, and then promote content from sites with high trust ratings.

An important caveat is that familiarity heavily impacts trust rankings. Rand explains, “If people are not familiar with an outlet, they overwhelmingly distrust it. If they are familiar with it, then their trust depends on what content the outlet produces. This will pose a problem for relatively new but high-quality sources, so social media platforms may need to provide samples of recent articles before asking if the outlet is trustworthy.” Furthermore, it is also not clear how the study’s results would generalize internationally beyond the U.S.

“This study has positive implications because it shows that the American public is better than one might think at knowing which news outlets not to trust,” concludes Rand. “Crowdsourcing, if implemented correctly, is a promising approach to fighting the spread of misinformation and false news.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

Putin: NKorea’s Kim ready to denuclearize _ with conditions

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un…

Ex-Vice President Biden launches 2020 presidential campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest…

Putin, Kim to meet in Russia’s Far East on Thursday

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong…

As Sri Lanka mourns, Islamic State claims Easter bombings

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — As the death toll from the Easter bombings in Sri…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Death Warrant For Tampa Serial Killer Robert "Bobby" Joe Long

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Florida's 46th Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a death warrant…

Florida Supreme Court Affirms Governor’s Authority to Suspend Scott Israel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming Governor Ron DeSantis’…

Governor Ron DeSantis to Speak at Press Conference in Key Biscayne with the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Monday

MIAMI, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Governor Ron DeSantis will hold a press conference with the Miami…

[OPINION]: Central Florida’s Regressive Prosecutor

In 2016, Central Florida elected Aramis Ayala as Florida’s first African-American State Attorney. Given her…

FNN SPORTS

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and staff, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, along with tech leader Jabil, United Way Suncoast and Mayor Bob Buckhorn completed the renovation of Grant Park Community Center during the Bucs' Day of Service in 2018. Photo: Tampa Bay Business Journal.
    NEW YORK (FNN SPORTS) - NFL Rallying Fans to Give 100 Million Minutes of Service to Commemorate the 100th Season (Photo: Tampa Bay Business Journal)

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Attorneys for Patriots owner set to challenge sex video

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s high-profile attorneys normally…

Orlando City Earns Late 1-0 Victory Over Vancouver

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Source: Orlando City SC // Orlando City SC (3-3-2, 11…

Governor Ron DeSantis, Former NBA Star Tracy McGrady Sit Courtside for Game 3 of Orlando Magic Playoffs

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Florida's 46th Governor Ron DeSantis (R),  First Lady Casey DeSantis…

Jaguars Unveil New Logo To Celebrate Team's Historic 25th Season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Today the Jacksonville Jaguars kicked off a yearlong celebration of the…

MATCH RECAP: Pride Shutout by North Carolina Courage

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Pride (0-2-0, 0 points) fell to the defending National Women’s Soccer League…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers announce 2019 regular season schedule

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2019 regular season schedule, released today by the…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

Bank of America Raising Hourly Minimum Wage to $20

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20…

Pinterest sets sites on $1.5B in first public share offering

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinterest, among a gaggle of tech companies planning to go public…

Gone in 6 minutes: an Ethiopian Airlines jet’s final journey

From nearly the moment they roared down the runway and took off in their new…

Linda McMahon to exit role at Small Business Administration

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon, is…

Facebook charged with housing discrimination by HUD

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government charged Facebook with high-tech housing discrimination Thursday for allegedly…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • Jay-Z (Photo: Hello! Magazine)
    NEW YORK (AP) - Jay-Z to Perform at Newly Renovated Webster Hall in NYC (Photo: Hello! Magazine)

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Brothers sue Jussie Smollett’s lawyers, claiming defamation

CHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers who say they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and…

Funk Fest Orlando Brings Erykah Badu, Ginuwine, Bobby Brown and More This Weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Funk Fest, the ultimate Old School R&B/Hip Hop outdoor music…

Florida Film Festival announced the 2019 Grand Jury and Audience Award Winners

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - After 10 days and over 180 films, the 2019 Florida Film…

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

Aretha Franklin makes history with posthumous Pulitzer win

NEW YORK (AP) — Aretha Franklin is still getting R-E-S-P-E-C-T after death: The Queen of…

Trivago Hotel Website Actor Arrested in Texas on DWI Charge

HOUSTON (AP) - The actor who has become something of a sex symbol as the…

LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL & TOURISM

  • TRAVEL AND TOURISM | MIAMI (FNN NEWS) - A World of Adventure Awaits: Royal Caribbean Brings Together Bold Itineraries and Unrivaled Innovations for 2019-2020 Season. Credit: Royal Caribbean International

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

Trivago Hotel Website Actor Arrested in Texas on DWI Charge

HOUSTON (AP) - The actor who has become something of a sex symbol as the…

"Unplanned" Movie Comes to Orlando, Inspired by Conservative Activist Korrie Lupino Stevenson

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - On Wednesday, March 27th, Unplanned the movie will be viewed…

Garden Rocks Concert Series Expands to Every Day of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 6-June 3

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Garden Rocks Concert Series is back – every single day…

SPECIAL REPORT: Non-Compliance with State Law Plagues Orange County Soil & Water Board

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Florida currently has 58 Soil & Water Conservation Districts which were…

Chairman Daisy Morales Announces New Website for Orange Soil and Water Conservation District

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – After four years of ongoing board meetings and delays to…