"THE GEOMETRY OF MISINFORMATION: THE LINK BETWEEN POLARIZATION AND MISINFORMATION IN ONLINE MULTIDIMENSIONAL POLITICAL SETTINGS"
To understand why internet users spread fake news online, many studies have focused on individual drivers, such as cognitive skills, media literacy, or demographics. Recent findings have also shown the role of complex socio-political dynamics, highlighting that political polarization and ideologies are closely linked to a propensity to participate in the dissemination of fake news. Most of the existing empirical studies have focused on the US example by exploiting the self-reported or solicited positioning of users on a dichotomous scale opposing liberals with conservatives. Yet, left-right polarization alone is insufficient to study socio-political dynamics when considering non-binary and multi-dimensional party systems, in which relevant ideological stances must be characterized in additional dimensions, relating for example to opposition to elites, government, political parties or mainstream media. In this study we leverage ideological embeddings of Twitter networks in France in multi-dimensional opinions spaces, where dimensions stand for attitudes towards different issues, and we trace the positions of users who shared articles that were rated as misinformation by fact-checkers. This allows us to understand the relation between different types of polarization, the opinion configuration of large online social systems, and their connection with the spread of misinformation online.
Speaker: Pedro Ramaciotti Morales (PhD in Applied Mathematics at École Polytechnique, France) has been a researcher at the computer science department at Sorbonne University, and at the Centre for European Studies and the médialab at Sciences Po. His research interests – at the interface between social sciences and both computational and modeling approaches – revolve around political dynamics in online social platforms, including online political competition systems, algorithmic mediation, social movements, and media ecosystems.
CIVICA Research brings together researchers from eight leading European universities in the social sciences to contribute knowledge and solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The project aims to strengthen the research & innovation pillar of CIVICA, the European University alliance. CIVICA Research is co-funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program
The seminar will be held in presence, in room 3-B3-sr01 - Roentgen Building