Read about “A Citizen’s Guide to Fake News” in The Current

CITS published “A Citizen’s Guide to Fake News”, a comprehensive resource on the subject of Fake News, on August 28th, 2018. Below is an excerpt from an article describing the project by Jim Logan in UCSB's The Current. Read the full article here.

​Today, fake news is increasingly sophisticated and global, a digital pathology infecting social media that’s designed to foment discord and distort perceptions. Indeed, it’s become so pervasive that understanding its complexity is crucial, said Joe Walther, director of UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Information Technology and Society.

That was the impetus of an interdisciplinary graduate seminar Walther taught in spring quarter 2018 that focused on fake news — what it is, where it comes from, how to identify it and how the public can protect itself from being duped. Most importantly, the course produced a new website, “A Citizen’s Guide to Fake News,” a comprehensive primer on the subject.

“The site brings together research not just about fake news, but about mass media effects, credibility and social networks,” said Walther, the Mark and Susan Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Technology and Society, and a Distinguished Professor of Communication at UC Santa Barbara.

“We want people to understand the whole process: how it started, how it affects us, why people are vulnerable to it. And in the end we make a very simple recommendation about what people can do that we think is a reasonable suggestion to help stop the flow.”

The website was produced by doctoral students as a resource accessible to the general public. Arranged in 10 sections, it takes a deep look at not just the structure of fake news and how it’s made, but why we fall for it and the danger it poses to a fractured society.