From The Hill
The problem of misinformation isn’t new, but it gained widespread attention during the 2016 presidential election when blatantly false stories (“fake news”) spread widely on social media.
Since then, a broad consensus has emerged that we must better understand why people believe and share misinformation and figure out how to stop it.
Limiting the spread of fake news, hyperpartisan content, conspiracy theories and other kinds of misinformation is important for our democracy. It seems likely to decrease the gap between liberals and conservatives about basic facts and to diffuse some of the cross-party animosity that is so prevalent today. Less misinformation may also make it harder for individuals to win elections based on blatantly false claims.
While there has been a lot of scholarly work documenting the spread of misinformation, there has been much less study of possible solutions. And most of the solutions that social media companies have been deploying so far haven’t been very effective; they also have been almost exclusively focused on fake news rather than other kinds of problematic content.