Prospectus: Viral Misinformation on Social Media Essay

Strong first draft, Zhongcheng. Nice work. Now lets refine and expand. Here are some suggestions in addition to my margin notes: Is it possible to address viral misinformation in the abstract? Because there are many different forms of misinformation (and fake news), the problem might require many different solutions. For example, news outlets publishing false/unverified news is a different sort of problem than anti-vaxxers posting conspiratorial nonsense on message boards or facebook. Find some stronger examples of the problem. The Apple example is weak (few readers will accept that Apple’s planned obsolescence isn’t really happening—I’m one of them). But even if you use it, or something like it, you need to describe how the story spread. It was a combination of actual reporting by news outlets, which were then spread through social media, and tons of gossip by individuals on the same platforms. Discuss the Communications Decency Act, section 230, which prevents platforms from being held liable for user behavior. Dig deeper into the legal history. There are more significant/relevant cases to discuss for this than Cohen. Here’s an article you might find helpful/interesting:… A big part of the problem is that many fake news sites very quietly bill themselves as satirical. Investigate this aspect of the problem. Proofread.

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