Wide range of media outlets highlight Albright's research on 'fake news'
Jonathan Albright has been a go-to expert during the past several weeks as media outlets explore the distribution of "fake news" across the Internet.
Elon's Jonathan Albright, assistant professor of communications, has continued to be a go-to source for the media as reporters explore the rise of "fake news," both how people consume it, and how it's distributed throughout the Internet.
Albright captured the attention of many examining the role of "fake news" during the recent U.S. presidential election with a series of articles he penned about his research mapping the ecosystem of sites that distribute that type of content. Albright was featured in a top story in The Guardian on Dec. 4 titled "Google, democracy and the truth about internet" search that spurred additional interest in his research as well as changes by Google of its autocomplete suggestions for certain searches that could have been influenced by fake news.
Albright's research took on additional importance after a North Carolina man arrived at a Washington D.C. pizza restaurant on Dec. 4 — the same day The Guardian article published — to investigate claims from fake news articles that the location was being used by Democratic presidential candidate HIllary Clinton for criminal purposes. That incident drew broad media interest in how stories like the one that propelled the N.C. man to travel to Washington spread online beyond the realm of social media, and the network of websites that promote such content.
Articles referencing Albright's research and featuring commentary by Albright include:
- The Washington Post - "Pizzagate: From rumor, to hashtag, to gunfire in D.C."
- Salon - "Twitter bots promoted Pizzagate conspiracy theory that led gunman into Comet Ping Pong"
- Slate - "Pizzerias in Austin and New York are now also being accused of abetting Satanic pedophilia"
- Media Matters for America - "Conservatives downplayed fake news. Yesterday it almost had a body count"
- The Wire - "How do you report on something that isn't true?"
- Silicon Beat (a technology blog of the San Jose Mercury News) - "It’s not just fake news, Google autocomplete being gamed by right wing"
- The Guardian - "Google 'must review its search rankings because of rightwing manipulation'"
- The Guardian - "Google is not ‘just’ a platform. It frames, shapes and distorts how we see the world"
- International Business Times - "Google removes 'are Jews evil' suggestion from autocomplete search results"
- Yahoo News - "Pizzagate spread largely thanks to Twitter bots, YouTube, Alex Jones and tech's aversion to responsibility"
- Glamour - "Hate sites are taking over Google's search results"
- Racine, Wisc., Journal-Times editorial - "The internet, stupidity and a gun"
- Toronto Star - "mediBelleville woman helped cook up Pizzagate"
- Digital Journal - "Op-Ed: Fake news filters could be used as a form of censorship"
Albright's insights appeared again in The Guardian, one of the largest and most respected newspapers in the United Kingdom, on Dec. 9 in an opinion column he penned titled "Stop worrying about fake news. What comes next will be much worse."
Additionally, Albright participated as a guest during the Dec. 12 edition of Charlotte Talks, a weekly public affairs program airing on NPR affiliate WFAE, and hosted by Mike Collins. Albright appeared on the show, titled "Fiction As Fact: The Power of Fake News, with Brooke Binkowski, the managing editor of Snopes.com. Listen to the program here.