Trustworthy Misinformation Mitigation with Soft Information Nudging

11/13/2019 ∙ by Benjamin D. Horne, et al. ∙ 0

Research in combating misinformation reports many negative results: facts may not change minds, especially if they come from sources that are not trusted. Individuals can disregard and justify lies told by trusted sources. This problem is made even worse by social recommendation algorithms which help amplify conspiracy theories and information confirming one's own biases due to companies' efforts to optimize for clicks and watch time over individuals' own values and public good. As a result, more nuanced voices and facts are drowned out by a continuous erosion of trust in better information sources. Most misinformation mitigation techniques assume that discrediting, filtering, or demoting low veracity information will help news consumers make better information decisions. However, these negative results indicate that some news consumers, particularly extreme or conspiracy news consumers will not be helped. We argue that, given this background, technology solutions to combating misinformation should not simply seek facts or discredit bad news sources, but instead use more subtle nudges towards better information consumption. Repeated exposure to such nudges can help promote trust in better information sources and also improve societal outcomes in the long run. In this article, we will talk about technological solutions that can help us in developing such an approach, and introduce one such model called Trust Nudging.

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