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College of Arts and Sciences

Good News and Bad News about COVID-19 Misinformation

By: Sarah Kreps and Douglas Kriner
Scientific American
June 10, 2020

People don’t necessarily believe misinformation about COVID-19, but they don’t necessarily believe valid information about the pandemic either, write Sarah Kreps, professor of government and faculty fellow in the Milstein Program for Technology and Humanity, and Douglas Kriner, the Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions, in an op-ed in Scientific American.

“Recently, a video called 'Plandemic' went viral on social media," Kreps and Kriner writer in the piece. "PolitiFact flagged eight fake or misleading claims it made about COVID-19. YouTube and Facebook removed the video; Twitter issued 'unsafe' warnings and blocked relevant hashtags … Such swift, draconian decisions assume not just that the content is ricocheting around the internet—indeed, data on trending and sharing easily corroborate that—but that people remember and believe the it. Do they?”

Read the story in Scientific American.