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6 Mar 2019

Paul M. Barrett, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights

Tackling Domestic Disinformation: What the Social Media Companies Need to Do

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A growing amount of misleading and false content infests social media. A 2018 study by researchers at Oxford University found that 25 percent of Facebook and Twitter shares related to the midterm elections in the U.S. contained “junk news” — deliberately deceptive or incorrect information. A majority of this harmful content came not from Russia or other foreign state actors but from domestic U.S. sources.

This report focuses on domestically generated disinformation in the U.S.: the nature and scope of the problem, what the social media platforms have done about it, and what more they need to do.