Misinformation Research

Combating individual fake news stories is a daily battle – but NewsWhip is also focused on tracking whether the overall war is being won. We measure this by seeing whether impartial and accurate reporting is winning mindshare against inaccurate and biased news.  

To help understand and quantify this problem, we provide universities and NGOs with access to our Analytics and API – the world’s most complete dataset on content engagement in over 100 languages. These trackstories, writers, social accounts, outlets, and narratives in over 100 languages, and help academics, social platforms, media, and NGOs understand, in a granular way, which are winning engagement, and which are losing. 

Alongside NewsWhip’s data, we believe solving this problem requires insights from many fields – such as psychology, neurology, journalism, and design. We’re pleased to support a wide range of academic work spanning these disciplines.

Provenance Project

NewsWhip is one of three founding partners of Provenance, a 3-year project aiming to tackle the issue of “fake news” by tracking and flagging online disinformation spread via social media.

The Provenance approach will employ image forensics and other media analytics to record modifications of content and contextualise individual pieces of content with relevant information. The project solutions will be of particular use for consumers of news and political information but also for content creators who want to secure their content from manipulation or unauthorised use. NewsWhip supplies the project with real time news and media and data on social news and media engagement.

The project is led by DCU Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo), supported by the ADAPT Research Centre for Digital Content Technology at Trinity College Dublin and backed by €2.4m in funding through the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

University of Michigan

Since 2018, we have partnered with the University of Michigan School of Information and its Center for Social Media Responsibility to support their research into what they call the ‘Iffy Quotient’.

The Iffy Quotient is the fraction of popular URLs that come from ‘iffy’ sites, a whimsical way of referring to sites that often carry misinformation. The team were looking for health metrics that they could measure from the outside, without needing to have data provided by the platforms.

This created an invaluable resource to show just how much information that was untrustworthy in some way was floating around the web.

University of Oxford

The misinformation research is not limited to North America. In early 2019, we partnered with the Oxford Internet Institute’s Computational Propaganda Project to analyze the European elections.

The goal of the project was to provide a snapshot view of misinformation in eight key European countries.

To do this, they extracted “the five most popular sources” of what they term junk news in each language sphere and measured the volume of Facebook interactions with these outlets in the month preceding the election using the NewsWhip Analytics dashboard.

Axios

While not strictly misinformation research, we are partnered with Axios to analyze the top stories about candidates in the 2020 US Presidential election, and the themes that are driving conversation in the election cycle.

Inevitably, some of these topics end up containing an element of misinformation, and Axios are examining the prevalent narratives that cut through the noise across the social media universe.

NewsWhip Research Center

Our internal Research Center creates industry leading guides to publishing on Facebook, among a number of other reports.

This work has been cited by Niemen Lab, Wired, and the New York Times and many others, and provide a quarterly look at what content is spreading on Facebook.

If you’re interested in working with us on improving the quality of the information ecosystem – or if we can help with any problems you’re facing – please get in touch.

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