George Washington University


Can misinformation shared on Facebook be corrected? Or are citizens doomed to believe what they read? Recent evidence suggests that the former is closer to the truth—misinformation can be corrected. In this project, we will identify the best methods of doing just that. With the data provided, we will break new ground on the semantic determinants of misinformation shared on Facebook. We also investigate what sort of fact-checking approaches have proven most fruitful in reducing the sharing of misinformation on Facebook. Ultimately, we will know both what kinds of misinformation are most likely to be shared over Facebook, and we will have evidence regarding the best tactics for rebutting it.

Principal Investigator

Ethan Porter

Assistant Professor, George Washington University

Ethan Porter is an assistant professor at the George Washington University in the School of Media and Public Affairs. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Chicago in 2016. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; Journal of Politics; Political Communication; Political Behavior; Behavioural Public Policy; Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory; Politics, Groups and Identities; and Journal of Experimental Political Science among other journals. He has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other popular publications and has received grant support from the National Science Foundation and the Omidyar Network. False Alarm: The Truth about Political Mistruths in the Trump Era, a book coauthored with Thomas J. Wood, was published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press. His second book, ​The Consumer Citizen, is under contract with Oxford University Press.


David Broniatowski

Associate Professor, George Washington University

David Broniatowski is an associate professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the George Washington University who conducts research in decision-making under risk, group decision-making, online information spread, and behavioral epidemiology. He has recently published a formal mathematical model of Fuzzy Trace Theory and is an expert in online disinformation, especially pertaining to vaccines. His work has been featured in several leading media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, CNN, and several others.

Pedram Hosseini

PhD Student, George Washington University

Pedram Hosseini is a PhD student in computer science at the George Washington University. His main area of focus is natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. He has a background in software engineering, having worked in industry as a software developer/engineer with experience in working with big data and database management.

Thomas J. Wood

Assistant Professor, Ohio State University

Thomas J. Wood is an assistant professor of political science at the Ohio State University. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Behavior, and other scholarly venues. Thomas is the coauthor of Enchanted America (University of Chicago Press) and False Alarm (Cambridge University Press). His research has been covered by Slate, the New York Times, Vox, and NPR, among other locations. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Chicago.