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A new study by MIT researchers finds that correcting people who were spreading misinformation on Twitter led to people retweeting and sharing even more misinformation, reports Matthew Gault for Motherboard. Prof. David Rand explains that the research is aimed at identifying “what kinds of interventions increase versus decrease the quality of news people share. There is no question that social media has changed the way people interact. But understanding how exactly it's changed things is really difficult.” 


A new study by Prof. Charles Stewart III and graduate student Jesse T. Clark explores voter confidence in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, reports Stephen L. Carter for Bloomberg Opinion. Stewart and Clark found that Democrats had extreme confidence in the election results, which may have been “influenced by a strong negative repudiation of Trump’s calling the results of the election into question.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with NPR’s Michael Martin about how the pandemic’s racial disparities have affected people’s public policy views. “I think it's important for us to keep reminding one another how interconnected we are, how our shared fate exists together depending on the actions we take and don't take, and perhaps that we have a common purpose beyond, you know, national borders and obligations towards one another,” says Lieberman.


A new study by researchers from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab finds that there is bipartisan support for some voting changes included in a bill that passed the House, reports Ryan Teague Beckwith for Bloomberg News. The researchers found that “87% of Republicans supported requiring paper backups for electronic voting machines, and 62% backed making Election Day a holiday, both provisions of the Democratic legislation.”

Fox News

A new study by MIT researchers finds that political beliefs can help bring people together on social media networks, reports Brooke Crothers for Fox News. On both sides, users were roughly three times more likely to form social ties with strangers who identify with the same party, compared to "counter-partisans.”


TechCrunch reporter Devin Coldewey writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that debunking misinformation is the most effective method of addressing false news on social media platforms. “The team speculated as to the cause of this, suggesting that it fits with other indications that people are more likely to incorporate feedback into a preexisting judgment rather than alter that judgment as it’s being formed,” writes Coldewey. 

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Alison Gopnik spotlights a new study co-authored by Prof. Rebecca Saxe that finds “people of all political stripes have surprisingly similar views about redistribution, at least in the abstract.”

Planet Money

Prof. Daron Acemoglu speaks with Greg Rosalsky of NPR’s Planet Money about his book, “Why Nations Fail,” whether the attack on the U.S. Capitol signals difficulties for U.S. institutions, and how politicians can create more shared prosperity through a “good jobs” agenda. "We are still at a point where we can reverse things," Acemoglu says. "But I think if we paper over these issues, we will most likely see a huge deterioration in institutions. And it can happen very rapidly."


“Dealing with the present constitutional crisis requires more than removing Donald Trump from office," writes Professor Charles Stewart III. "It requires creating the conditions for electoral politics to marginalize opponents of constitutional government.”

New York Times

A new survey by researchers from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab found that long waiting times were more common for early voters during the 2020 presidential election than than they were on Election Day, reports Kevin Quealy and  Alicia Parlapiano for The New York Times. The researchers found “14 percent of Election Day voters waited more than 30 minutes to vote, an increase from 2016.”

CBS News

Reporting for CBS News, Grace Segers spotlights how Alex Padilla ’94 has been selected for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ Senate seat. “Alex Padilla worked his way from humble beginnings to the halls of MIT, the Los Angeles City Council and the State Senate, and has become a national defender of voting rights as California's Secretary of State,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

National Public Radio (NPR)

Alex Padilla ’94 has been selected to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the Senate, and will be the first Latino from California to join the Senate, reports Domenico Montanaro for NPR. “From those struggling to make ends meet to the small businesses fighting to keep their doors open to the health care workers looking for relief, please know that I am going to the Senate to fight for you,” said Padilla. “We will get through this pandemic together and rebuild our economy in a way that doesn't leave working families behind."

The Wall Street Journal

A national survey led by Prof. Charles Stewart III found that Americans generally had smooth experiences voting in the 2020 presidential election, reports Alexa Corse for The Wall Street Journal. Stewart explains that he thinks many voters will continue voting by mail in the future. “I think there will be less reeling back than the rhetoric is suggesting right now,” says Stewart. “State legislatures are going to discover that a lot of the security questions they have are based on exaggerated claims.”


Prof. Sinan Aral’s new book, “The Hype Machine,” has been selected as one of the best books of the year about AI by Wired. Gilad Edelman notes that Aral’s book is “an engagingly written shortcut to expertise on what the likes of Facebook and Twitter are doing to our brains and our society.”


Prof. Sinan Aral speaks with Danny Crichton of TechCrunch about his new book, “The Hype Machine,” which explores the future of social media. Aral notes that he believes a starting point “for solving the social media crisis is creating competition in the social media economy.”