The geometry of misinformation

The geometry of misinformation

The link between polarisation and misinformation in online multidimensional political settings

This series of events is part of CIVICA Research Excellence Tours initiative.

Schedule of events

The language of the events is English.

Event description

To understand why internet users spread fake news online, many studies have focused on individual drivers, such as cognitive skills, media literacy, or demographics. Recent findings have also shown the role of complex socio-political dynamics, highlighting that political polarisation and ideologies are closely linked to a propensity to participate in the dissemination of fake news. Most of the existing empirical studies have focused on the US example by exploiting the self-reported or solicited positioning of users on a dichotomous scale opposing liberals with conservatives. Yet, left-right polarisation alone is insufficient to study socio-political dynamics when considering non-binary and multi-dimensional party systems, in which relevant ideological stances must be characterized in additional dimensions, relating for example to opposition to elites, government, political parties or mainstream media. In this study we leverage ideological embeddings of Twitter networks in France in multi-dimensional opinions spaces, where dimensions stand for attitudes towards different issues, and we trace the positions of users who shared articles that were rated as misinformation by fact-checkers. This allows us to understand the relation between different types of polarisation, the opinion configuration of large online social systems, and their connection with the spread of misinformation online.

Please note that the speaker will be providing the same presentation at each of the universities. We therefore advise those interested in attending to select the event that best suits their availability and location.


Pedro Ramaciotti Morales (PhD in Applied Mathematics at École Polytechnique, France) has been a researcher at the computer science department at Sorbonne University, and at the Centre for European Studies and the médialab at Sciences Po. His research interests – at the interface between social sciences and both computational and modeling approaches – revolve around political dynamics in online social platforms, including online political competition systems, algorithmic mediation, social movements, and media ecosystems.

In the CIVICA Research Excellence Tours series, scholars present their research, share their expertise, and meet with faculty and (post)doctoral researchers of the CIVICA universities. The series aims to assert the scientific identity of the CIVICA alliance within the global academic community. 

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Notice: Video & audio may be recorded during the entire event and made available, partly or in full, on the channels of CIVICA, its member institutions, and partners. By joining the event, you automatically consent to the recording. If you do not consent to being recorded, please discuss your concerns with the event's host.  

Photo credits: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

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