Media Manipulation

One of the most dangerous trends of our time: Harnessing the vast new possibilities of the digital age, including misuse of both mainstream and social media, malicious actors find it easier than ever to disseminate lies and conspiracy theories. With minimal effort and resources they can destabilize whole societies and even influence elections. Read these summaries and learn how they operate by distorting the messages the public receives, what damage they inflict, and how free and open societies can defend against them.


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Summaries

Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Roger McNamee

Penguin Press, 2019

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A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News

Cindy Otis

Feiwel & Friends, 2020

R 9
Conspiracy theories seem to meet psychological needs and can be almost impossible to eradicate. One remedy: Keep them from taking root in the first place.

Greg Miller

Niemanlab.org, 2021

8
Nandini Jammi’s advertiser boycotts scared brands away from journalism and into shady ad tech. Now she wants to teach marketers to think for themselves again.

Gilad Edelman

Wired, 2020

9
Disinformation campaigns used to require a lot of human effort, but artificial intelligence will take them to a whole new level.

Renee DiResta

The Atlantic, 2020

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A vital connection for the Chinese diaspora, the app has also become a global conduit of Chinese state propaganda, surveillance and intimidation. The United States has proposed banning it.

Paul Mozur

The New York Times, 2020

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Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information

Paul Offit M.D.

Columbia UP, 2018

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Misinformation results from many interacting processes

Derek Ruths

Science, 2019

8
Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media

Cass R. Sunstein

Princeton UP, 2017

8
Fake Publications Are Corrupting the World of Research – and Influencing Real News

Alex Gillis

The Walrus, 2019

7