The science of fake news

David M. J. Lazer, Matthew A. Baum, Yochai Benkler, Adam J. Berinsky, Kelly M. Greenhill, Filippo Menczer, Miriam J. Metzger, Brendan Nyhan, Gordon Pennycook, David Rothschild, Michael Schudson, Steven A. Sloman, Cass R. Sunstein, Emily A. Thorson, Duncan J. Watts, Jonathan L. Zittrain
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1094-1096
March 9, 2018


The rise of fake  news highlights the erosion of long-standing institutional bulwarks against  misinformation in the internet age. Concern over the problem is global.  However, much remains unknown regarding the vulnerabilities of individuals,  institutions, and society to manipulations by malicious actors. A new system  of safeguards is needed. Below, we discuss extant social and computer science  research regarding belief in fake news and the mechanisms by which it  spreads. Fake news has a long history, but we focus on unanswered scientific  questions raised by the proliferation of its most recent, politically  oriented incarnation. Beyond selected references in the text, suggested  further reading can be found in the supplementary materials.

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