Wednesday May 22, 2019
Home Lead Story Researchers C...

Researchers Claim, Infusing Machine Learning Will Not Curb Fake News

"The more people are exposed to some piece of false information, the more familiar it becomes, and the more willing they are to accept it"

0
//
social media
According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70 per cent of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018. Pixabay

Just tweaking algorithms and infusing Machine Learning (ML) into them will not protect us from misinformation and fake news on social media platforms, warn researchers.

Technological fixes cannot stop countries from spreading disinformation on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, said Erik Nisbet and Olga Kamenchuk of The Ohio State University.

Policymakers and diplomats need to focus more on the psychology behind why citizens are so vulnerable to disinformation campaigns, they stressed.

“There is so much attention on how social media companies can adjust their algorithms and ban bots to stop the flood of false information,” said Nisbet, Associate Professor of Communication.

news
A third kind of disinformation campaign simply aims to increase a foreign audience’s everyday, incidental exposure to “fake news.” Pixabay

“But the human dimension is being left out. Why do people believe these inaccurate stories?”

Governments the world over are fighting the menace of fake news, including political interference from nation-state actors.

In a paper published in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Nisbet and Kamenchuk, Research Associate at Ohio State’s Mershon Center for International Security Studies, discussed how to use psychology to battle these disinformation campaigns.

The researchers discussed three types of disinformation campaigns: identity-grievance, information gaslighting and incidental exposure.

Identity-grievance campaigns focus on exploiting real or perceived divisions within a country.

“The Russian Facebook advertisements during the 2016 election in the US are a perfect example,” Nisbet said. “Many of these ads tried to inflame racial resentment in the country.”

Another disinformation strategy is information gaslighting, in which a country is flooded with false or misleading information through social media, blogs, fake news, online comments and advertising.

A recent Ohio State study showed that social media has only a small influence on how much people believe fake news.

“But the goal of information gaslighting is not so much to persuade the audience as it is to distract and sow uncertainty,” Nisbet added.

social media
“It sometimes seems easier to point to the technology and criticize Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, rather than take on the larger issues, like our psychological vulnerabilities or societal polarization,” he said. Pixabay

A third kind of disinformation campaign simply aims to increase a foreign audience’s everyday, incidental exposure to “fake news.”

“The more people are exposed to some piece of false information, the more familiar it becomes, and the more willing they are to accept it,” Kamenchuk said. “If citizens can’t tell fact from fiction, at some point they give up trying.”

These three types of disinformation campaigns can be difficult to combat, Nisbet noted.

“It sometimes seems easier to point to the technology and criticize Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, rather than take on the larger issues, like our psychological vulnerabilities or societal polarization,” he said.

Also Read: Now Google Assistant Will Help You Making Your Baby Sleep

But there are ways to use psychology to battle disinformation campaigns.

More generally, diplomats and policymakers must work to address the political and social conditions that allow disinformation to succeed, such as the loss of confidence in democratic institutions, the researchers noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Micro-blogging Site Twitter Records 5.6 Lakh Tweets on Exit Polls in 24 Hours

The results of the seven-phase general elections would be declared on May 23

0
TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

As majority of exit polls predicted victory for the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, Twitter recorded nearly 5.6 lakh tweets related to exit polls in 24 hours, the company said on Tuesday.

“Twitter saw 560K Tweets talking about the Exit Polls in 24 hours, between 6:30pm on Sunday 19th until 6:30pm on Monday 20th May, across news commentators, opinion makers and Indian citizens,” the micro-blogging platform told IANS.

Twitter recorded 45.6 million tweets on its platform during a one-month period in the run-up to the polls, registering 1.2 million tweets on the first day of voting.

Twitter CEO
This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. VOA

The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is all set to return to power winning 287 seats in Lok Sabha elections, but the Bharatiya Janata Party may fall short of half-way mark on its own as it is expected to win 236 seats, according to the IANS-CVoter exit poll.

Also Read- Political Ad Spend Hits Rs 27.7 cr on Facebook as Polls End

The IANS-VOTER prediction is based on a sample size of around 5 lakh across the country.

The results of the seven-phase general elections would be declared on May 23. (IANS)