Events

Cognitive Cybersecurity Miniseries Guest Speaker: Dr. David Broniatowski

Event Start Date:
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 10:30 AM
Event End Date:
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 11:30 AM
Location
Virtual
Add to Calendar 2021-04-19 10:30:00 2021-04-19 11:30:00 Cognitive Cybersecurity Miniseries Guest Speaker: Dr. David Broniatowski Misinformation and Misinterpretation: Informing Responses to Foreign and Domestic Manipulation of the Vaccine Debate Speaker:  Dr. David Broniatowski Dr. David BroniatowskiAssociate Director, Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics Director, Decision Making and Systems Architecture Laboratory George Washington University Abstract: Years before the COVID-19 pandemic, public debates about vaccination and other public health topics have served as vectors for foreign and domestic disinformation (i.e., intentional misinformation). Recently, the World Health Organization declared an "infodemic" around COVID-19 drawing special concern to the way that increased attention to the pandemic promotes misinformation spread. Attempts to combat this "misinfodemic" frequently focus on false facts or conspiracy theories. Beyond these well-studied tactics, misinformation, and especially disinformation, often manipulates contextualized interpretations rather than facts. In this talk, I discuss a body of empirically-supported work establishing the tactics and narrative tropes used by several actors -- including "Russian trolls", anti-vaccine advocates, and spambot operators -- within the ongoing vaccine debate, and provide theoretically-motivated and empirically-supported principles -- based on the psychology of human memory -- for combating online misinformative misinterpretations. Analysis suggests that many of these actors use a combination of falsehoods, conspiracy theories, emotionally arousing content, and decontextuliazed truths when promoting their agendas, with the anti-vaccine discourse increasingly emphasizing values of freedom of choice and civil liberties, rather than false facts. To encourage choices to vaccinate, I present results suggesting that messages communicating a "gist" or clear bottom-line interpretation -- seem to drive choices in other health contexts (e.g., antibiotic overprescription), and may be more likely to go viral online. Register for this Event Virtual America/New_York public

Misinformation and Misinterpretation: Informing Responses to Foreign and Domestic Manipulation of the Vaccine Debate

Speaker: 

Dr. David Broniatowski
Dr. David Broniatowski

Dr. David Broniatowski
Associate Director, Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics
Director, Decision Making and Systems Architecture Laboratory
George Washington University

Abstract:
Years before the COVID-19 pandemic, public debates about vaccination and other public health topics have served as vectors for foreign and domestic disinformation (i.e., intentional misinformation). Recently, the World Health Organization declared an "infodemic" around COVID-19 drawing special concern to the way that increased attention to the pandemic promotes misinformation spread. Attempts to combat this "misinfodemic" frequently focus on false facts or conspiracy theories. Beyond these well-studied tactics, misinformation, and especially disinformation, often manipulates contextualized interpretations rather than facts. In this talk, I discuss a body of empirically-supported work establishing the tactics and narrative tropes used by several actors -- including "Russian trolls", anti-vaccine advocates, and spambot operators -- within the ongoing vaccine debate, and provide theoretically-motivated and empirically-supported principles -- based on the psychology of human memory -- for combating online misinformative misinterpretations. Analysis suggests that many of these actors use a combination of falsehoods, conspiracy theories, emotionally arousing content, and decontextuliazed truths when promoting their agendas, with the anti-vaccine discourse increasingly emphasizing values of freedom of choice and civil liberties, rather than false facts. To encourage choices to vaccinate, I present results suggesting that messages communicating a "gist" or clear bottom-line interpretation -- seem to drive choices in other health contexts (e.g., antibiotic overprescription), and may be more likely to go viral online.

Register for this Event