Sunday, December 5, 2021

Play

A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.

Play

U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Fighting Misinformation: Pumping up News Feeds With Facts

Play

Monday, October 11, 2021   

MADISON, Wis. -- How do you fight an onslaught of misinformation surrounding the 2020 election? A University of Wisconsin communications professor said a good place to start is a heavy load of facts delivered through social media ad-buys.

Mike Wagner, professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is part of a team that was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to find effective ways to combat online misinformation.

The project involves identifying where falsehoods are proliferating, asking trusted journalists to fact-check those messages, and then countering with purchased social media ads containing verified details.

Wagner said they hope to get those follow-up messages in the news feeds of people sharing bad information.

"Our goal is not to change the hearts of the people who are trying to sow chaos," Wagner explained. "Our goal is to try to find those people who are exposed to that information, and show them that there is verifiably accurate information that's different."

He pointed out the mission centers around false claims about the integrity of last year's presidential vote, as well as misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccines. It comes on the heels of a GOP-led election audit in Wisconsin, which has come under fire as being anti-democratic. Republican leaders maintain it is about ensuring a fair process, but opponents say it will create lasting harm.

Wagner argued misinformation shared on platforms like Facebook and Twitter about these topics has resulted in a public health threat. He feels it gets in the way of responding to the needs facing the country.

"It would be much more useful for the maintenance of our country if we were debating our ideas rather than debating, 'Did Joe Biden win the election? Or, do COVID vaccines contain microchips for government monitoring?'" Wagner contended.

The team acknowledged the challenges in getting through to audiences who disavow mainstream news sources. Wagner emphasized they are being direct in placing their ads, as opposed to speaking through media that already provide information from reliable sources. Findings from the project are expected to be released next summer.


get more stories like this via email
Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)

Environment

LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


Environment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …


From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Social Issues

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …

Hastings-on-Hudson is currently the highest-ranking town in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021