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3/9/2018 6:43:00 PM
IU researcher on team taking on 'fake news'
A screenshot from the Hoaxy website, which helps track and fact-check online news. Find a tutorial at Hoaxy.iuni.iu.edu.
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A screenshot from the Hoaxy website, which helps track and fact-check online news. Find a tutorial at Hoaxy.iuni.iu.edu.

Lauren Bavis, Herald-Times

It’s going to take an interdisciplinary approach to fight “fake news,” according to an Indiana University professor whose research was published Thursday in the journal Science.

Filippo Menczer, a professor in the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, and 15 other academics across the country came together to publish the paper, titled The Science of Fake News, as a call to action.

While there is some research published by social scientists, computer scientists, political scientists and others about the spread of misinformation, Menczer said there hasn’t been a concentrated effort to combine that knowledge across fields to produce concrete ways to intervene before fake news becomes accepted as common knowledge.

“We really need to join our forces, because it is a complex problem and we still don’t understand the complex interplay of different factors that make us vulnerable,” Menczer said.

Menczer’s expertise is in the vulnerability of social media, which he has been researching since 2010. In 2015, he co-authored a study about the “social bubbles” social media users find themselves trapped in when they only read what pops up in their news feeds.

“We tend to become connected online to people whose opinions are similar to our own, so we see a biased view of the world,” Menczer said.

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