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
Associate Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History, University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor of Communication, University at Buffalo