Countering misinformation: A multidisciplinary approach

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  • November 4, 2021 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EST)



Countering misinformation: A multidisciplinary approach

Hosted by Social Media Lab at Ted Rogers School of Management

The session explores the concept of infodemics during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the propagation of false or inaccurate information proliferating worldwide throughout the SARS-CoV-2 health crisis. We provide an overview of disinformation, misinformation and malinformation and discuss the notion of “fake news”, and highlight the threats these phenomena bear for health policies and national and international security. We discuss the mis-/disinformation as a significant challenge to the public health, intelligence, and policymaking communities and highlight the necessity to design measures enabling the prevention, interdiction, and mitigation of such threats. We then present an overview of selected opportunities for applying technology to study and combat disinformation, outlining several approaches currently being used to understand, describe, and model the phenomena of misinformation and disinformation.

We focus specifically on complex networks, machine learning, data- and text-mining methods in misinformation detection, sentiment analysis, and agent-based models of misinformation spreading and the detection of misinformation sources in the network. We conclude with the set of recommendations supporting the World Health Organization’s initiative on infodemiology. We support the implementation of integrated preventive procedures and internationalization of infodemic management. We also endorse the application of the cross-disciplinary methodology of Crime Science discipline, supplemented by Big Data analysis and related information technologies to prevent, disrupt, and detect mis- and disinformation efficiently.

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