Misinformation in Social Media and What to do About It

April 21, 2023 | 8:00AM - 6:30PM | Buffalo Marriott Niagara

While manipulative actors deliberately introduce false and misleading information into the media stream, much of the corrupt information circulating in the public sphere is spread inadvertently by otherwise responsible actors. Well-meaning individuals forward and re-tweet inaccurate, even downright harmful misinformation. Media platforms that would seem to have an interest in cultivating a reputation for reliability end up serving as forums for the dissemination and amplification of socially and politically destructive misinformation. Why?

This symposium seeks to explore the incentive structures facing actors in the public information ecosystem. What incentives do platforms and their users presently encounter to either allow/amplify or reduce the spread of false information, and could alterations to existing incentive structures, through regulatory intervention or through voluntary self-restraint, improve the quality of public discourse. Panels will examine platform self-regulation, regulatory influences on platform incentives, structural market incentives facing profit-seeking actors in the information economy, incentives facing individual users, and potential intervention strategies in all these areas.

Professor of Electrical Engineering, Law, Public Policy, and Management Faculty Co-Director, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy

Dorothy H. and Lewis Rosenstiel Distinguished Professor of Law,     The University of Arizona

PhD cand. in Sociology at UC Berkeley, Visitor-in-Residence at the Santa Fe Institute, and UC-National Lab Graduate Fellow

Assistant Professor of Communication,                        University at Buffalo

Schedule 8:00AM Continental Breakfast 9:00AM Impossible Project Panel - Dalia Muller & students 10:30AM Break 10:45AM How a Better Understanding of Uncertainty Can Help Address Misinformation - John Villasenor 12:15PM Lunch 1:00PM Fine. Social Media Is Bad for Us. Now What? - Jane Bambauer 2:30PM Break 2:45PM Tackling Disinformation in the Classroom: Creating an Inclusive Space Where Students’ Interests, Confidence, and Public Participation in Knowledge Production Intersect - Naniette Coleman & students 4:15PM Break 4:30PM Misinformation & Extremism—A panel discussion Moderated by Yotam Ophir Panelists: Lindsay Hahn, Matt Kenyon, Mark Frank, and Yini Zhanng 6:00PM Happy Hour Buffalo Marriott Niagara 1340 Millersport Hwy Amherst, NY 14221 (716) 689-6900 Map showing location of venue.