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Social media, political polarization, and political disinformation: A review of the scientific literature

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posted on 2019-03-06, 15:22 authored by Joshua A. Tucker, Andrew Guess, Pablo Barbera, Cristian Vaccari, Alexandra Siegel, Sergey Sanovich, Denis Stukal, Brendan Nyhan
The following report is intended to provide an overview of the current state of the literature on the relationship between social media; political polarization; and political “disinformation,” a term used to encompass a wide range of types of information about politics found online, including “fake news,” rumors, deliberately factually incorrect information, inadvertently factually incorrect information, politically slanted information, and “hyperpartisan” news. The review of the literature is provided in six separate sections, each of which can be read individually but that cumulatively are intended to provide an overview of what is known—and unknown—about the relationship between social media, political polarization, and disinformation. The report concludes by identifying key gaps in our understanding of these phenomena and the data that are needed to address them.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

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SSRN Electronic Journal


TUCKER, J.A. ... et al, 2018. Social media, political polarization, and political disinformation: A review of the scientific literature (March 19, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3144139 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3144139.




  • VoR (Version of Record)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This is an official report prepared for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It is available on their website at: https://hewlett.org/library/social-media-political-polarization-political-disinformation-review-scientific-literature/


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