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Computer Model Seeks to Explain Spread of Misinformation, Suggests Countermeasures


Misinformation nodes.

Misinformation may spread like a disease, while previously held beliefs limit the influence of new information.

Credit: Ingimage

A computer model developed by Tufts University researchers can mimic the real-life spread of misinformation, in order to expose its mechanisms and help in the development of countermeasures.

The researchers based the model on the concept that pre-existing beliefs influence people's acceptance of new information; it assigns a numerical "belief" to each individual in an artificial social network scored from 0 to 6, with 6 representing strong acceptance.

Tufts' Lenore Cowen suggested incorporating the realization that factual information alone may be insufficient to sway public mindsets into such models "may teach us how to bring the public conversation back to facts and evidence."

From Tufts Now
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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