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Combating misinformation in 2021: Insights for publishers from NiemanLab

What's New in Publishing 18 Jan 2021 08:47

“Americans consumed twice as much dubious news in 2020 as they did in 2019,” reports Emily Stewart, Journalist, Vox.com. It was the pandemic coupled with a presidential election that made 2020 a “boom time for homegrown disinformation agents,” says Brandy Zadrozny, Reporter, NBC News. 

Zadrozny has reported on online misinformation at NBC News for the last three years, and is one of several people from journalism and media that NiemanLab invited to write for their Predictions for journalism 2021 series.  

Here we look into the insights they shared about misinformation. 

“Amazingly resilient and adaptable”

“If we learned one thing from monitoring false news in 2020, it’s that misinformation publishers are amazingly resilient and adaptable,” writes Matt Skibinski, GM, NewsGuard

If users tire of one conspiracy theory or false claim, these operations will simply pivot to a new, more interesting topic. When a conspiracy theory or hoax is proven wrong, they’ll simply adapt the claim, even if the new claim contradicts previous ones. And when audiences turn their focus to a specific news topic, like a global pandemic, misinformation publishers follow the clicks.

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SkibinskiNBC NewsEmily StewartBrandy ZadroznyZadrozny
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