New research shows that the key to defeating waves of fake news could lie in crowdsourcing. According to a study co-authored by MIT scholar David Rand and Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina, audience judgments about the quality of news coverage has the potential to identify and effectively minimise online misinformation.
Researchers used public-opinion surveys to estimate the audience’s trust levels for 60 news sources from both sides of the political spectrum, including the so-called “hyperpartisan” outlets. “What we found is that, while there are real disagreements among Democrats and Republicans concerning mainstream news outlets, basically everybody (...) [agrees] that the fake and hyperpartisan sites are not to be trusted,” said Rand.
After analysing the results, the researchers concluded that strategically implementing trust ratings for news coverage outlets could help eliminate misinformation. “If the goal is to remove really bad content, this actually seems quite promising,” said Rand.