Resources For Practice Reading Like A Robo-Grader: Misinformation and Bias Infect Social Media, Both Intentionally and Accidentally

Essay: Misinformation and Bias Infect Social Media

Misinformation and Bias Infect Social Media, Both Intentionally and Accidentally

  • Reprint of Bias on the brain section (word count is 246)
  • Bias on the brain section reprinted sentence by sentence without punctuation
  • Toulmin Model of Argument analysis based on the essay
  • Example of an introduction to an argumentative essay based on Misinformation… essay that could potentially be well suited to a Robo-Grader

Misinformation and Biases Infect Social Media, Both Intentionally and Accidently
Bias on the Brain Section

Cognitive biases originate in the way the brain processes the information that every person encounters every day. The brain can deal with only a finite amount of information, and too many incoming stimuli can cause information overload. That in itself has serious implications for the quality of information on social media. We have found that steep competition for users’ limited attention means that some ideas go viral despite their low quality – even when people prefer to share high-quality content.

To avoid getting overwhelmed, the brain uses a number of tricks. These methods are usually effective, but may also become biases when applied in the wrong contexts.

One cognitive shortcut happens when a person is deciding whether to share a story that appears on their social media feed. People are very affected by the emotional connotations of a headline, even though that’s not a good indicator of an article’s accuracy. Much more important is who wrote the piece.

To counter this bias, and help people pay more attention to the source of a claim before sharing it, we developed Fakey, a mobile news literacy game (free on Android and iOS) simulating a typical social media news feed, with a mix of news articles from mainstream and low-credibility sources. Players get more points for sharing news from reliable sources and flagging suspicious content for fact-checking. In the process, they learn to recognize signals of source credibility, such as hyperpartisan claims and emotionally charged headlines.

Misinformation and Biases Infect Social Media, Both Intentionally and Accidently
Bias on the Brain Section Sentence by Sentence Without Punctuation

Cognitive biases originate in the way the brain processes the information that every person encounters every day

The brain can deal with only a finite amount of information and too many incoming stimuli can cause information overload

That in itself has serious implications for the quality of information on social media

We have found that steep competition for users limited attention means that some ideas go viral despite their low quality even when people prefer to share high-quality content

To avoid getting overwhelmed the brain uses a number of tricks

These methods are usually effective but may also become biases when applied in the wrong contexts

One cognitive shortcut happens when a person is deciding whether to share a story that appears on their social media feed

People are very affected by the emotional connotations of a headline, even though thats not a good indicator of an article’s accuracy

Much more important is who wrote the piece

To counter this bias and help people pay more attention to the source of a claim before sharing it we developed Fakey a mobile news literacy game free on Android and iOS simulating a typical social media news feed, with a mix of news articles from mainstream and low credibility sources

Players get more points for sharing news from reliable sources and flagging suspicious content for fact checking

In the process they learn to recognize signals of source credibility such as hyperpartisan claims and emotionally charged headlines

 

Misinformation and Bias Infect Social Media Both Intentionally and Accidentally
Toulmin Model of Argument
Simple Example

 

Based on reading the essay, Misinformation and Bias Infect Social Media Both Intentionally and Accidentally, (Ciampaglia & Menzer),one possible example of applying the Toulmin Method of Argument analysis to the essay is presented below.  This is not the only way the article could be interpreted, but this example could form the basis for an argumentative essay responding to their essay.

Claim:
Social media is full of information that may not be accurate.

Warrant (assumption):
People use social media.

Qualifiers:
It’s not surprising that there is so much disinformation published.
People are very affected by the emotional connotations of a headline, ….
Much more important is who wrote the piece.

Grounds/reasons:
Social media are among the primary sources of news in the US and across the world
Low credibility content spreads quickly

Evidence:
People and algorithms behind social media are vulnerable to manipulation
Research has identified 3 types of bias in the social media ecosystem

Counter Arguments:
People don’t use social media.
Social media does more good than harm.

Rebuttal:
Research shows that individuals, institutions, and even entire societies can be manipulated on social media.

 

Example of an essay introduction potentially well suited for a Robo-grader:

The general argument made by Ciampaglia and Menzer in their work, “Misinformation and Bias Infect Social Media, Both Intentionally an Accidentally,” is that social media exposes users to questionable content that may be inaccurate as a result of low-credibility content that spreads quickly through algorithms vulnerable to manipulation.  Their research at Indiana University, identified 3 forms of bias built into social media: bias in the brain, bias in society, and bias in the machine.  The issue of social media is complex.  Users of social media need to consider that the potential for disinformation place within their view.