Your misinformation questions … answered.

Great information about misinformation Answers to Your Misinformation Questions

Mozilla Fellow Renée DiResta Answers Your Questions

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A couple of weeks ago, we asked you to submit your questions on misinformation with the promise that Renée DiResta, Wired Writer and Mozilla Fellow on Misinformation, would answer some of them. You offered up hundreds of great questions.

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Renée couldn’t answer all of them, so we selected 10 of the best questions we thought everyone would enjoy. Here’s a taste.

Question: How can you guarantee freedom of speech while acting to silence the voices of misinformation? And if you had to choose between them which would it be?

Renée’s Answer: Freedom of speech as a value is fundamental to our society. Even if it legally doesn’t apply to private tech platforms, we all want that value to stand. There’s been misinformation for centuries, so this isn’t an either/or. One of the main differences today is that there’s a glut of information – more than any reasonable person could be expected to fact-check for themselves. So, curation algorithms are deciding what to surface in people’s feeds instead of human gatekeepers. We have algorithmic gatekeepers that are prioritizing things like engagement and virality signals above what we have traditionally thought of as quality information. I think those algorithms can be improved.

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Some other great questions people asked and Renée DiResta answered about misinformation:

  • Who is spreading misinformation?
  • Is there any way around the fundamental problem of the ‘outrage economy’ on online platforms when it comes to solving issues around misinformation?
  • Is part of the problem of fighting anti-vaccination misinformation that the anti-vaccination movement reaches out to people and engages with them better than scientists? Like information concerning science behind vaccination hidden behind paywalls, or written only for scientific peers and inaccessible / not understandable for 99% of parents?

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The rapid spread of online misinformation is one of the biggest problems we face in our world today. All of us have a responsibility to fight this problem. Here at Mozilla, we’re steadfast in our commitment to use our resources, expertise, and global reach to educate and fight back against this grave problem.

Thank you,

– The Mozilla Team

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