A quantitative, big data perspective
The past few years have heralded the age of ubiquitous disinformation – aka fake news – which poses serious questions over the role of social media and the internet in modern democratic societies. Topics and examples are abound, ranging from the UK "Brexit" referendum and the 2016 US presidential election, to medical misinformation (such as miraculous cancer cures).
How do political parties, candidates, and voters engage online in the run up to elections and referenda?
How polarised are these discussions and how prevalent is abuse within?
What is the role of disinformation and bots during elections? Can they influence the outcome?
Can we harness more effectively social media during crises and natural disasters?