Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the transition of many offices to remote work has led to new ways for employers to…
Despite calls from both ends of the political spectrum to regulate social media platforms, new federal action has been slow to materialize. However, Steph Hill outlines how social, political, and advertising pressures may be creating a new system of regulation stemming not from governmental sources but from fellow corporate actors.
To help contextualize current efforts to identify and combat online misinformation, Rebecca Emigh gives a history of authentication methods for oral, visual, and literary news through multiple eras of Western history.
Renan Gonçalves Leonel da Silva and Larry Au share results of their SSRC-supported study that compares three countries whose response to the pandemic has been especially fraught: Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Through a deep analysis of mainstream media coverage, they identify and analyze the different ways that Covid skepticism played out in these countries. Drawing on the concept of “sociotechnical imaginaries,” the authors show how blind spots in the ways experts and policymakers explain the need for certain responses can spark contestation over them.
Despite popular perceptions that trust in news media is on the decline, trust may actually be ascendant. However, Rachel Moran argues, to understand trust in media today, one has to understand its relational nature. Relational trust is tied to hyper-individualized assessments of the authenticity of the journalist that give leverage to micro-celebrities and pseudo journalists on social media.
When You Do It Right, It Looks Like You’re Overreacting: Intuitive Judgments of Covid-19 Public Health Measuresby Jonathan F. Kominsky and Elizabeth Bonawitz
Jonathan F. Kominsky and Elizabeth Bonawitz examine the public’s judgments of Covid-19 safety measures during one of the pandemic’s peaks. Their research project, funded by the SSRC’s Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences, created hypothetical scenarios to explore whether the provision of different kinds of information shaped how people viewed responses to negative events (such as public health crises). The authors found that a judgement of overreaction was typical under most scenarios and, moreover, such judgements strongly predicted whether a person followed Covid-19 measures.
Toward Contextualizing Not Just Containing Right-Wing Extremisms on Social Media: The Limits of Walled Strategiesby Fenwick McKelvey
Fenwick McKelvey argues that the way we frame social problems, such as online extremism, shapes how we respond to them. The impulse to combat extremism through flawed content moderation strategies reflects a tendency to treat extremism as primarily a content problem. But in order to tackle online extremism, we must first understand and address how it is intertwined with the deep roots of bigotry and hate in our history and social structures.