The Collaborative Construction and Evolution of Pseudo-knowledge in Online Conversations

Joshua Introne, Luca Iandoli, Julia DeCook, Irem Gokce Yildirim, Shaima Elzeini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Misinformation has found a new natural habitat in the digital age. Thousands of forums, blogs, and alternative news sources amplify inaccurate information to such a degree that it impacts our collective intelligence. Widespread misinformation is troubling, not just because it is wrong, but also because it can persist in the face of attempts to correct it, and thus becomes part of a larger culture of community-based pseudoknowledge (PK). Prior work has focused on the motivations and psychology of those who create and maintain PK but has neglected inspection of the dynamics of collective PK production itself. In this exploratory case study, we illustrate how the active participation of multiple collaborators adapts PK over time through a process we liken to participatory storytelling. We argue that the Internet provides a uniquely well-suited environment for evolving PK that is "more fit", in that it is more engaging, easier to defend, and possibly easier to spread.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication8th International Conference on Social Media and Society
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Media for Good or Evil, #SMSociety 2017
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348478
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International International Conference on Social Media and Society, #SMSociety 2017 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jul 28 2017Jul 30 2017

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series
VolumePart F129683

Other

Other8th International International Conference on Social Media and Society, #SMSociety 2017
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period7/28/177/30/17

Keywords

  • Collective intelligence
  • Conspiracy theory
  • diffusion of information
  • Knowledge construction. argumentation
  • Misinformation
  • Narrative
  • Online conversations
  • Pseudoscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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