Mitigating online COVID misinformation costs: From individual to field interventions

Addressing the spread of misinformation online requires an intervention that adapts social media architectures to promote informed decision-making. In search of such an intervention, this team of researchers will conduct one of the most systematic tests to date of the welfare effects of altering information environments by decreasing exposure to untrustworthy sources. Importantly, their intervention will create sustained changes to information exposure over time by encouraging users to change the composition of the accounts they follow and measure their effects on real-world behavior. In this way, they will assess the extent to which respondents can be nudged to alter the set of accounts they follow and thus the information they consume. Through this study, the team will help popularize a design approach that combines a paired individual-level survey and social media data, providing a new framework for conducting and evaluating online behavioral interventions. Use of this design will provide a building block for future research on the effects of online information exposure on offline behavior. Finally, using the results of this study, researchers will be able to provide important guidance to platforms, policymakers, and researchers about how to most effectively counter misinformation about COVID-19 and other topics.

2/1/2023 - 12/31/2024

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  • Other - Social Science Research Council

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