Sharing “fake news” happens with the click of a button, leaving researchers curious about who is sharing it and why. Professor Andrew Guess will seek to better understand this phenomenon using funding from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
The new research grant will give Guess and his collaborators an opportunity to analyze an unprecedented dataset of shared URLs made available by Facebook and Social Science One. By matching specific web domains with Facebook pages dubbed as “fake news” sites, the team hopes to assemble a clearer picture of what is being shared, how often, and by whom.
“Too little is known about basic patterns in the consumption and spread of online misinformation,” Guess said. “Our project will take a deep dive into so-called ‘fake news’ to get a better understanding of how it’s become so rampant.”
Guess is an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and studies political communication, public opinion, and political behavior. His collaborators include Jonathan Nagler and Joshua Tucker, both of New York University.
The Social Media and Democracy Research Grant grantees were selected from around the world based on their qualifications, research questions and methods, and commitment to accountability, transparency, and excellence.
For 96 years, the SSRC has been committed to mobilizing knowledge for the public good. To this end, the Social Media and Democracy Research Grants program is guided by the belief that open, just, and democratic societies need an understanding of their own complex social, cultural, economic, and political processes — many of which are now online.