Misinformation Within Social Media

The Internet has become one of the most fundamental tools and powerful advancements in the 21st Century. Technological convergence has lead to changes within the Internet and it’s evolution. Convergence has helped shape passive users to active users, who create and publish content online. Active online users can freely post content, whether it is fact or opinion. This leads to concern of the ease of spreading misinformation (especially seen on social media) e.g. Buzzfeed articles, Facebook and Twitter posts.
The question I will be proposing for this research project will be – ‘On what social media platform is misinformation most prominent?’ I believe the results of this research question will assist online users to decipher between true and false information. The main idea is to discover where misinformation is most common in users Internet experience. Online information can be spread so rapidly and widely that it can so easily become distorted and manipulated. Fabrications can include political news or occurrences around the world. Searching for information from platforms such as Facebook, Buzzfeed or Twitter are potentially full of speculation and hoaxes.

The main approach for this research project will be to conduct a number of surveys. Additional data will be collected from posting in online forums. To get responses for this research, I will be proposing questions such as:
– Do Internet users usually fact check articles and check the credibility of sources?
– Where do Internet users generally get their news from and why? 
– Do Internet users trust news they read within social media?
– Have you as an Internet user been mislead by information online?
My goal is to conduct both online and in person surveys, to widen the opportunity of responses. I plan to analyse and record all survey feedback, as well as include graphs and charts to visually represent my data. Being observant and evaluating news stories seen on social media can decrease the spread of misinformation. The end result will contribute to the awareness of misinformation and how prevalent it can be on the Internet. 

 

Useful sources:
Bennett, Moisés. “What 21St-Century Censorship Looks Like”. The Atlantic. 2015. Online. Accessed 9/3/17
Lahiri, Upamanyu. “How The Internet Is Helping In The Spread Of Misinformation”. Odyssey. 2016. Online. Accessed 9/3/17
TEDTalk Video: “How to Separate Fact and Fiction Online” – Markham, Nolan
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