Browsing by Subject "fake news"

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  • Amadae, S. M. (University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2020)
    Publications of the Faculty of Social Sciences
    This book is an edited collection of MA research paper on the digital revolution of the public and governance. It covers cyber governance in Finland, and the securitization of cyber security in Finland. It investigates the cases of Brexit, the 2016 US presidental election of Donald Trump, the 2017 presidential election of Volodymyr Zelensky, and Brexit. It examines the environmental concerns of climate change and greenwashing, and the impact of digital communication giving rise to the #MeToo and Incel movements. It considers how digitilization can serve to emancipate women through ride-sharing, and how it leads to the question of robot rights. It considers fake news and algorithmic governance with respect to case studies of the Chinese social credit system, the US FICO credit score, along with Facebook, Twitter, Cambridge Analytica and the European effort to regulate and protect data usage.
  • Amadae, S. M. (University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2020)
    Computational Transformation of the Public Sphere is the organic product of what turned out to be an effective collaboration between MA students and their professor in the Global Politics and Communication program in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki, in the Fall of 2019. The course, Philosophy of Politics and Communication, is a gateway course into this MA program. As I had been eager to conduct research on the impact of new digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) on democratic governance, I saw this course as an opportunity to not only share, but also further develop my knowledge of this topic.
  • Mammola, Stefano; Nanni, Veronica; Pantini, Paolo; Isaia, Marco (2020)
    1. Spiders are able to arouse strong emotional reactions in humans. While spider bites are statistically rare events, our perception is skewed towards the potential harm spiders can cause to humans. Nevertheless, there is still limited understanding of the role of the media in spreading (mis)information about them thereby promoting this distorted perception of risk. 2. We examined the human dimension of spiders through the lens of traditional media, by analysing spider-related news published online in Italian newspapers between 2010 and 2020 (n = 314). We assessed the accuracy, circulation and sensationalistic content of each article, and assessed how each of these features drove news' share on social media. 3. We observed a recent, exponential increase in the frequency of the news, particularly those focused on medically important spiders-the Mediterranean black widow Latrodectus tredecimguttatus and the Mediterranean recluse Loxosceles rufescens. The news quality was generally poor: 70% contained different types of error, 32% were sensationalistic, and in virtually none was an expert consulted. 4. The risk scenario depicted by the media reports was unnecessarily alarmist, especially with regard to L. rufescens. A conservative estimate would suggest that less than 10% of the bites reported in the media reports analysed here were delivered by the species described in the report. Moreover, two out of three casualties associated with a bite of the Mediterranean recluse were fake news, while the third was unverifiable. 5. Overstated news referring to spider bites was shared significantly more on social media, thus contributing to frame a distorted perception of the risk. This is important given that these negative sentiments may ultimately lead to lowering public tolerance towards spiders and reducing conservation efforts towards them. We discuss open questions and avenues for future research concerning the media coverage of widely feared animals, that will help bridge knowledge gaps regarding the role of traditional and social media in framing our perception of the natural world.
  • Talwar, Shalini; Dhir, Amandeep; Singh, Dilraj; Virk, Gurnam; Salo, Jari (2020)
    Sharing of fake news on social media platforms is a global concern, with research offering little insight into the motives behind such sharing. This study adopts a mixed-method approach to explore fake-news sharing behaviour. To begin with, qualitative data from 58 open-ended essays was analysed to identify six behavioural manifestations associated with sharing fake news. Thereafter, research model hypothesizing the association between these behaviours was proposed using the honeycomb framework and the third-person effect hypothesis. Age and gender were the control variables. Two data sets obtained from cross-sectional surveys with 471 and 374 social media users were utilized to test the proposed model. The study results suggest that instantaneous sharing of news for creating awareness had positive effect on sharing fake news due to lack of time and religiosity. However, authenticating news before sharing had no effect on sharing fake news due to lack of time and religiosity. The study results also suggest that social media users who engage in active corrective action are unlikely to share fake news due to lack of time. These results have significant theoretical and practical implications.
  • Szebeni, Zea; Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik; Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga (2021)
    Accessing information online is now easier than ever. However, also false information is circulated in increasing quantities. We sought to identify social psychological factors that could explain why some people are more susceptible to false information. Specifically, we investigated whether psychological predispositions (social dominance orientation, right-wing authoritarianism, system justification beliefs (SJB), openness, need for closure, conspiracy mentality), competencies (scientific and political knowledge, interest in politics) or motivated reasoning based on social identity (political orientation) could help explain who believes fake news. Hungarian participants (N = 295) judged political (anti- and pro-government) and non-political news. The Hungarian context—characterized by low trust in media, populist communication by the government and increasing polarization—should be fertile ground for the proliferation of fake news. The context in making this case particularly interesting is that the major political fault line in Hungary runs between pro- and anti-government supporter groups and not, for instance, between conservative and liberal ideology or partisanship. We found clear support for the motivational reasoning explanation as political orientation consistently predicted belief in both fake and real political news when their contents aligned with one’s political identity. The belief in pro-government news was also associated with higher SJB among pro-government supporters. Those interested in politics showed better capacity to distinguish real political news from the fake ones. Most importantly, the only psychological predisposition that consistently explained belief in all types of fake news was a conspiracy mentality. This supports the notion of ideological symmetry in fake news belief—where a conspiracy mentality can be found across the political spectrum, and it can make people susceptible to disinformation regardless of group-memberships and other individual differences.