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Five Challenges in Detection and Mitigation of Disinformation on Social Media

Bastos, M. T. ORCID: 0000-0003-0480-1078 (2021). Five Challenges in Detection and Mitigation of Disinformation on Social Media. Online Information Review, doi:


This article discusses five challenges in detection and mitigation of disinformation on social media platforms. We discuss the limitations of fact-checking, the main mitigation strategy currently in place, against influence operations that leverage the low persistence and high ephemerality of social media poststo move from one contentious and unverified frame to the next before fact-checking mechanismscan correctfalse information. We argue that fact-checking, a tool originally devised to evaluate political claims and hold politicians to account, can rarelymeet the scale, speed, velocity, and magnitude of mis-anddisinformation on social media.We also argue that the conflicting priorities of privacyand safety championed by policymakers rendered social media platforms increasingly more opaqueand paradoxically less accountable. We close with an assessment that mitigation strategies available to the academic community are severely limited, and that independent source attribution is near impossible in the wake of data access lockdowns.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher. This article will be published in Online Information Review, Emerald. DOI:
Publisher Keywords: Disinformation; Social Media; Fact checking; Politics of deletion; Deletion policy; Firehose of falsehood
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
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