Fellows are working throughout the spring semester in small groups focused on specific areas within disinformation. The Collaboration Group topics are below; keep an eye out for updates throughout the semester.
Group #1: Definitions, frameworks, and solutions
We plan to create a reading guide and literature review that covers several potential areas of focus, including video misinformation, targeting of underserved and susceptible communities and business models that dis-incentivize disinformation.
— Abtsam Saleh, Olivia Graham, Teresa Datta, Emily Dich
Group #2: Definitions, frameworks, and solutions
We plan to investigate frameworks for understanding disinformation, evaluate those frameworks, and potentially develop a scorecard that allows the public to compare and contrast these frameworks. Our current plan is to share our findings, and potentially the scorecard, in a blog post later this spring.
— Mark Haidar, Arushi Saxena, Katherine Lou
Group #3: Elections and political disinformation
Our goal is to study how audiences outside of the United States reacted to the ‘deplatforming’ of the communications app Parler. We want to understand how decisions and content policy play out around the world, and determine if there are lessons we can take from this (recent) history.
We are still determining what form our research will take, but we hope to include our findings in a blog post.
— Rachel Gibian, David Stansbury, Paul Tembo
Group #4: Elections and political disinformation
We seek to understand if the staggering level of investment in persuasion, mobilization, and analytics research driven by political campaign cycles influences the production of disinformation in parallel.
Our hope is to look at historical examples, both in the U.S. and abroad. It’s our sense that contemporary political campaign tools — from peer-to-peer texting to micro-influencer campaigns and relational organizing — can quickly become the weapons of disinformation. We plan to produce a written summary of our research.
— Leonie Bolte, Randle Steinbeck, Nick Anway
Group #5: Disinformation and law and policy
Our aim is to study ideas of constitutionalism in cyberspace. We want to envision better futures for life online, and try to imagine the kinds of founding documents (like a constitution) that might enable them. Specifically, we want to examine constitutional principles that could influence the design of digital platforms in healthier, less disinformation-prone ways.
— Isabella Berkley, Jin Park, Danny Wilson
Group #6: Health and disinformation
We are studying vaccine hesitancy and disinformation. Our goal is to understand the different types of vaccine disinformation, its sources, and the groups being targeted — while analyzing how platforms are handling it. We are also concerned with the lack of training around vaccine hesitancy and disinformation in the medical community. As physicians and public health scholars, we hope to find a public platform for our work.
— Sam Doernberg, David Xiang, Valentina Vargas