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Dec 14, 2021

From anti-vaxx propaganda to partisan political news and wild covid conspiracies, social media is awash with dodgy, even dangerous (mis)information. Who is pushing this content online, what are they trying to achieve and how can we stop it - without censoring free speech?

David is joined by a panel of info-warriors fighting for a less toxic and more truthful online ecosystem:

Chloe Colliver is a specialist in disinformation and extremism online. She’s the Head of Digital Policy and Strategy at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Laura Edelson co-leads the Cybersecurity for Democracy project at New York University which tracks the spread of misinformation via paid advertising and partisan news sources on platforms like Facebook. 

Will Moy is the CEO of FullFact, the UK’s premier fact-checking charity. They call out politicians, journalists and misinformation going viral online, as well as working with Facebook as an independent fact checker. 

Sander van der Linden is professor of Social Psychology at the University of Cambridge, and author of a forthcoming book on the psychology of misinformation, The Truth Vaccine.

They discuss;

3:50 Who is responsible for creating and promoting misinformation on social media?

10:55 What are the incentives driving social media platforms - and why do they often lead to algorithms which amplify misinformation?

18:49 How does FullFact’s partnership with with Facebook work? 

25:19 Why is misinformation often so compelling and persuasive?

30:20 How can we distinguish trustworthy from untrustworthy communications? 

36:42 How should fact checking articles be constructed? Should they be boring?

41:05 What kind of regulation could help fix the situation? Should we ban certain kinds of content - or enshrine broad principles in law? How good is forthcoming UK and EU legislation? 

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Risky Talk is produced by Ilan Goodman for the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge.