By Amanpour & Co., PBS
danah boyd is a senior researcher at Microsoft and founder of the research institute “Data & Society,” where she studies how media manipulators may be responsible for mass shootings and other crisis events. She sat down with Hari Sreenivasan to explain how digital media amplifies the spread of false information...
SREENIVASAN: So we live in a world, I think, of, you know, where facts are presented, represented, misrepresented, and manipulating those facts is as old as, well, society, right? What’s so different about this information web that we’re enmeshed in today that we should be concerned.
BOYD: The most simple answer to that is amplification. You take any sort of misinformation or even doubt, which is actually the most powerful, you start asking questions. And your question or your proposed alternative fact can reach millions of people if you stage it right, and you can do it at one level by purchasing advertisements that, you know, anybody can access, another level by figuring out how to produce viral media, even more powerfully figuring out how to get journalists to tell your story or ask your question by engaging with them on Twitter. And so, anyone in the world has the ability to learn a set of techniques and amplify in a, you know, hypernetwork media ecosystem.
danah boyd received her Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Information and is the founder of the Data & Society Research Institute. She is also a researcher at Microsoft and a visiting professor at New York University.