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.
RAND researchers asked people where they get their news, how reliable they think it is, and whether they seek out viewpoints that are different from their own. The results provide some new clues to help diagnose and treat Truth Decay.
This weekly recap focuses on responding to Russian subversion, how the media can help fight Truth Decay, the first supervised drug consumption site in the United States, artificial intelligence, and more.
"Truth Decay" is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in U.S. public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. What could media organizations do to address this?
As social media has increasingly become the main outlet for people to acquire news and opinion, there are concerns about the effect of algorithm-driven services on the spread of misleading information. But the issue doesn't merely lie with how social platforms use algorithms to deliver content.
Humans carry flaws in deciding what is or is not real. The internet and other technologies have made it easier to weaponize and exploit these flaws. And artificial intelligence will likely be used to exploit these weaknesses at an unprecedented scale, speed, and level of effectiveness.
One-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers. The other two-thirds of the public consider their primary news sources trustworthy, mainly print news and broadcast television.
Where do Americans get their news? What news sources do they view as reliable? And how are choices about news consumption linked to demographics or political affiliation? Results from a national survey provide insights into these questions and more.
Crime in traditional online forums often leaves a trail of data that can be followed. But on the dark web, the process of collecting those data and turning them into evidence can be difficult. A panel of law enforcement practitioners and researchers identified ways to address this challenge.
Living in an information society opens unprecedented opportunities for hostile rivals to cause disruption, delay, inefficiency, and harm. Social manipulation techniques are evolving beyond disinformation and cyberattacks on infrastructure sites. How can democracies protect themselves?
Russian information warfare has attracted significant international attention since 2014. But little research has focused on its apparent shortcomings. Most notable are the confusing translation mistakes that undermine Moscow's attempts at covert influence efforts.
The opioid overdose crisis has accelerated in recent years because of the arrival of potent synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and related substances. Analysis of regional trends can help inform decisions about how and where to deploy law enforcement interventions.
Continued economic stagnation and a high youth unemployment rate, exacerbated by the Muslim youth bulge, could lead to failed expectations and spur radicalization among disenchanted Gen Z Muslims. And this cohort's familiarity with the internet could foreshadow an adaptive, tech-savvy terrorist threat.
Senior political scientist Jennifer Kavanagh helps lead RAND's work on Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. In this interview, she discusses her latest research on how news presentation has changed over time and across platforms.
The world's attention will be fixed on Japan as it hosts the Rugby World Cup in September and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Japan's cyber defenses will need to be strong enough to keep attackers out and resilient enough to restore systems should things go wrong.