New book on the effect of digital misinformation on politics

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02-04-2020. Today, our new book “Doen, durven, of de waarheid? Democratie in digitale tijden” (in Dutch) was launched.

There is increasing attention for the role and effect of misinformation on the Internet, especially on how it affects people’s opinions and behaviors. Many news outlets (e.g., the Washington Post) now have teams of fact checkers systematically going through political communications to determine the factual correctness of information. Previously, we used such fact-checked datasets to analyze tweets by the current US President in order to distinguish between accidental misinformation and deliberate intent. This research is described in chapter 9 of this book. Our working paper on this topic can be found here.

Other chapters address a variety of topics regarding the effect of digital misinformation on politics. Are people’s opinions and behaviors being manipulated through the spread of false information on the Internet? And is this information deliberately spread with the purpose of manipulating people? How does this affect political campaigning? What is the role of social media and traditional news outlets? A group of Dutch researchers from different educational and research background have tried to answer these questions in our new book. It’s now available in print and as e-book.