Media Literacy

Featured

  • Images of two White woman with a third image of their faces combined in the center, photo by FotografieLink/Getty Images

    Commentary

    America May Not Be Ready for the Looming Tsunami of Deepfakes

    Images and videos have been falsified since the first photographs were taken. But deepfakes are fundamentally different. Their realism, and the scale and ease with which they can be produced, make them incredibly potent disinformation tools.

    Nov 10, 2022

  • A teen boy using a laptop sitting on a bed, photo by SelectStock/Getty Images

    Essay

    Improving Media Literacy in Middle School

    Middle schoolers can be savvy users of news and information—when they know where to look. But they're also easy marks for misinformation, disinformation, and trolls. Helping them find their way in today's media landscape is important both for their futures and for the future of democracy.

    Sep 6, 2022

Explore Media Literacy

  • Content

    Tackling Truth Decay

    Truth Decay is the declining role of facts and analysis in American life. RAND has launched an information campaign on social media to help the public understand how this phenomenon works, its consequences, and how to stop it.

    May 11, 2022

  • Man thinking at his laptop, photo by Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

    Essay

    How to Avoid Extremism on Social Media

    Extremist groups have been trolling the internet for decades, and they have learned to temper their words and disguise their intentions. A new scorecard can help users—or parents, or advertisers, or the social media companies themselves—understand when they might be interacting with extremist content.

    May 3, 2022

  • The U.S. Capitol at sunset on the eve of the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the building, in Washington, January 5, 2022, photo by Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

    Testimony

    Extremist Use of Online Spaces

    Extremist content can be found in all corners of the internet. How do the characteristics of online spaces contribute to individual radicalization? And how may the internet have helped foster conditions that contributed to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol?

    Apr 27, 2022

  • Illustration of online extremists by Jessica Arana/RAND Corporation from Sean Rayford/Alamy; dem10/Getty Images; sestovic/Getty Images; Dilok Klaisataporn/Getty Images; Comstock/Getty Images

    Report

    How Extremism Operates Online

    Extremist groups use internet-based tools for financing, networking and coordination, recruitment and radicalization, inter- and intra-group knowledge transfer, and mobilization to action. How do internet users engage with these efforts? And can the internet be leveraged to counter extremism?

    Apr 12, 2022

  • An illustration depicting the difference between light and darkness, image by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    What You Can Do to Help Stop Truth Decay

    Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts in American public life, isn't a problem that any one person can fix. But there are simple steps that individuals can take to help counter it.

    Mar 29, 2022

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    Spotlight 2021–2022

    Spotlight 2021-2022 highlights selected RAND Europe projects that address the important issues of our time. It also features research that is poised to make a difference in the coming year.

    Feb 23, 2022

  • Map of Europe in decay, illustration by ermess/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Truth Decay in Europe

    Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts in public life, is less prevalent across Europe than it is in the United States. What actions can be taken now to stop Truth Decay from spreading further—and potentially prevent its serious consequences?

    Feb 23, 2022

  • A woman with a smartphone is seen in front of social media logos, May 25, 2021, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Report

    Understanding the Online Extremist Ecosystem

    By the early 2010s, it was clear that the internet provided white supremacists and other extremists a tool to operationalize their hateful ideas and cause real-world harms. How can the average user understand their risk of exposure to extremist content and make informed decisions about the platforms they use?

    Dec 2, 2021

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    #KeepingItReal: Improving Social Media Users' Resistance to False Information during Elections

    Addresses the issue of too much false information shared on social media by users during U.S. election seasons.

    Nov 9, 2021

  • Marines with Combat Marksmanship Coaches Reserve conduct the new Annual Rifle Qualification at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, September 21, 2021, photo by Lance Cpl. Samwel Tabancay/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    How Could the U.S. Military Counter Extremism in Its Ranks?

    The U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 drew attention to the involvement of current and former service members in extremist groups. There are some terrorism prevention programs in the civilian sector that might help the Department of Defense address the issue.

    Oct 25, 2021

  • Black family with older parents looking at financial records, photo by Alina555/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Protecting the Elderly from Financial Exploitation

    Older adults are more vulnerable to scams and more likely to have money and assets than their younger counterparts of the same race/ethnicity. Policy solutions that provide protection against financial fraud could help older adults to live more financially stable lives.

    Oct 14, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    China-Pakistan Partnership, Media Literacy, Incarcerated Parents: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the China-Pakistan partnership in light of the Taliban's rise to power, media literacy education, parenting from prison, and more.

    Sep 24, 2021

  • Teacher Mary Yi works with fourth-grade students at the Sokolowski School in Chelsea, Massachusetts, September 15, 2021, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Report

    Approaches and Obstacles to Teaching Media Literacy

    The majority of U.S. public schools address media literacy competencies in some manner. But according to K–12 teachers, instruction is unevenly implemented, at best, and obstacles are common. Media literacy education also varies across schools of different ethnic compositions and poverty levels.

    Sep 23, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    A Pilot Study Investigating STEM Learners' Ability to Decipher AI-generated Video

    In this study, state of the art AI algorithms are trained on a specific STEM context (e.g., climate change) using publicly-available data.

    Aug 12, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Media Literacy, Internet of Bodies, Arctic Governance: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on teaching media literacy in schools, a “connected future” via the Internet of Bodies, gaps in Arctic governance, and more.

    Aug 6, 2021

  • High school students and their teacher work on laptops during class, photo by eyecrave/Getty Images

    Report

    Guidance for Teaching Media Literacy in Schools

    Media literacy education can help counter “Truth Decay” by teaching young people how to consume media and contribute responsibly to the information ecosystem. To this end, RAND researchers developed recommendations for implementing media literacy standards in the classroom.

    Aug 4, 2021

  • Close-up image of a subscribe button on a website, photo by Laurence Dutton/Getty Images

    Commentary

    When a Free Trial Is Anything But

    Several strategies could help protect consumers from subscription traps. Strategies could include providing better information showing that a free trial is followed by a subscription, reminding consumers that they have a subscription, and allowing consumers to easily cancel.

    Aug 2, 2021

  • Woman using smartphone with social network icons, photo by Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Platforms Should Use Algorithms to Help Users Help Themselves

    Social media users generate massive volumes of content, which then spreads at extraordinary speeds. Yet platforms generally rely on a slow process of human moderation to remove prohibited content. What if moderation could happen before the content is even posted?

    Jul 20, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Rapid Analysis of Foreign Malign Information on COVID-19 in the Indo-Pacific: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    The authors explore whether news and blog data could provide some initial insights on the reach of, content of, and tactical strategies used in foreign malign information about COVID-19 in the Indo-Pacific.

    Jul 7, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Vaccine Hesitancy, Working from Home, Arctic Diplomacy: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on vaccine hesitancy as a symptom of ‘Truth Decay,’ how to make remote work beneficial for all, U.S. Arctic diplomacy, and more.

    May 21, 2021

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